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Smartphone recall illustrates consequences of a product defect

With the prevalence of cellphones, tablets and other electronic devices in nearly every American household, many people may assume these products are safe and harmless, including for children. For the most part, electronic devices are safe when used appropriately. However, a serious design or manufacturing defect may be devastating for consumers in Schenectady and elsewhere, especially if the affected product uses electricity or contains hazardous chemicals.

Both of these factors were applicable with the recent design defect in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Reportedly, a large number of these smartphones were catching fire when faulty or substandard batteries ruptured, leaked or overheated. Officials from the Samsung company issued a recall on the entire line of phones. The company went on to take more aggressive actions to protect consumers when it became evident that not all of the phones had been returned or exchanged. Some of these measures included sending an automatic update that would disable the phones, to charging consumers the retail price of the phone if they had received a refund but had not returned their device. Company executives also assured consumers that future devices would contain superior batteries that posed little risk to the public.

The Samsung company’s response to the defect inherent in this line of smartphones may be considered a responsible course of action to address a serious safety risk. Issuing prompt recalls and taking measures to ensure defective products are out of harm’s way may protect a company’s legal interests, as well as keep people safe. If a company fails to protect their customers from a known risk, those who were harmed may have the right to pursue compensation.

Source: Digital Trends, "Everything we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 recall," Kyle Wiggers, Jan. 20, 2017

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