The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a safety advisory this week regarding the recently –recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smart phone and its lithium-ion batteries. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the lithium- ion battery in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7s can overheat and catch fire, posing a serious burn and fire hazard.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has been subject of two major recalls as a result of reports of the smartphone exploding and lighting on fire leading to injuries and damages. After an initial recall failed to solve the problem, Samsung has told retailers globally to stop selling and issuing replacement Galaxy Note 7 phones. The recall affects nearly two million Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones.
Samsung has received 96 reports of batteries in Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones overheating in the United States, including 23 new reports since the original September 15, 2016, recall announcement. Samsung has received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damage associated with Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.
The FMCSA is following in the Federal Aviation Administration’s footsteps, which banned the phones from all commercial flights on Oct. 14. While the FMSCA does not have the authority to ban commercial drivers or passengers from carrying the phones they are recommending that all persons who wish to carry these devices on a CMV, including motor coaches, take the following precautions:
- Turn off the device.
- Disconnect the device from any charging equipment.
- Disable all applications that could inadvertently activate the phone (e.g. alarm clock)
- Protect the power switch to prevent its unintentional activation.
- Keep the device in carry-on baggage or on your person. Do not store in an inaccessible baggage compartment.
FMCSA adds the phones are subject to the regulatory prohibition in the Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations, which states transporting electrical devices, such as batteries and battery-powered devices, likely to create sparks is prohibits, unless they are packaged to prevent sparking . The agency adds the phones can only be transported as cargo with a special permit or approval issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
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