Amid a global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones which have been identified as a potential fire hazard, Samsung has taken the unusual step of directly addressing customers in a video message posted on its website.
In the video, Samsung America president and COO Tim Baxter admits that "we did not meet the standard of excellence that you expect and deserve".
For that, we apologise, especially to those of you who were personally affected by this. To those of you who love the Note, the most loyal customers in our Samsung family, we appreciate your passion and your patience. We take seriously our responsibility to address your concerns about safety. And we work every day to earn back your trust, through a number of unprecedented actions and with the extraordinary support of our carrier partners, suppliers, and the United States Consumer Productions Safety Commission.
Here are the facts: the CPSC has worked closely with us to develop, expedite and execute a plan to protect American consumers. We notified them of a potential defect in the original Note 7 batteries and then issued a global directive to stop sales immediately. To date, we have already exchanged a 130,000 units - a fast and meaningful start. And with the CPSC's partnership, we will continue implementing corrective steps to exchange every single Note 7 on the market.
To be clear, the Note 7 with the new battery is safe. The battery cell issue is resolved. And this finding has been affirmed by a recognized independent lithium-ion battery expert. To our Note 7 owners, if you have not yet replaced your original Note 7, please, please, power it down, and return it.
The video was timed to coincide with an official CPSC announcement of the recall that came on Thursday, which prohibits by U.S. federal law the sale of Note 7 handsets.
The directive comes 13 days after Samsung first acknowledged the magnitude of the problem and Consumer Reports urged the company to prevent all sales of the potentially dangerous phone, which has caused 55 recorded cases of property damage and 26 burn cases so far.
According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. officials say that the company has "exacerbated the situation in the way it has communicated with regulators and consumers" by offering initially "conflicting information". The video appears to be a response to that charge.
Samsung promises that replacement phones will be ready for exchange no later than next Wednesday, September 21.