The announcement comes nearly two weeks after the company issued a global, voluntary Galaxy Note 7 recall amid reports of exploding batteries. Now, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has Samsung's Note 7 Exchange program so things can finally move forward.
Samsung yesterday said it's working to notify Note 7 owners of the problem via "direct communications, customer service, social media, marketing, and in-store communications." Note 7 owners can visit for specific instructions, broken down by carrier and retailer, on how and where to exchange their device.
In its announcement Thursday, Samsung said "there have only been a small number of reported incidents," but as we yesterday, many people are still using the potentially dangerous devices, and Note 7 explosions continue to happen. Earlier this week, for instance, a Note 7 allegedly exploded inside a car in Port St. Lucie, Fla., causing the vehicle to become fully engulfed in flames.
Customers have three choices: exchange their current Note 7 for a new, non-exploding one (and get a $25 gift card as a thank you for sticking with the phone); exchange the handset and any of its accessories for a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, and get a refund for the accessories; or simply get your money back.
Samsung, meanwhile, is also planning to release a Note 7 software that will prevent the device from overheating (and exploding) by capping battery recharges at 60 percent, though the company has not said when that fix will arrive.
The CPSC last week "all consumers who own a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to power them down and stop charging or using the device."