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CHICAGO (JGL) -- The United States Federal Aviation Administration said Jan. 10 that U.S. airlines would no longer be required to make a pre-boarding notification to passengers that the

Samsung Galaxy Note7 phone is prohibited from transport on aircraft. The devices are still prohibited on both passenger and air cargo aircraft, but the DOT has lifted the requirement that the airlines make the specific pre-boarding notification.

The Department of Transportation removed the requirement for air carriers to specifically notify passengers about the Note7 phone immediately prior to boarding due to the high degree of public awareness of the ban since issuance of the emergency restriction/prohibition order, as well as the extensive efforts by Samsung and U.S. wireless providers to make all Note7 users aware the phone is recalled and banned from transport on U.S. aircraft.  The awareness of the ban is evidenced by the significant rate of recall returns.

BEFORE THE EXPLOSION OF SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE7


The Department of Transportation issued an emergency restriction/prohibition order effective on October 14, 2016, designating the Samsung Galaxy Note7 phone as forbidden on aircraft. The order had several requirements:

  • It prohibited the shipment of Note7 as air cargo, and prohibited airline passengers from carrying the Note7 on their person, in carry-on baggage, or in checked baggage.
  • It also required that airlines notify passengers immediately before boarding that the Note7 was forbidden.

Samsung said that it has successfully recalled more than 96% of all Note7 devices in the U.S. since this order went into effect, and U.S. wireless providers have pushed out firmware created by Samsung that prevents batteries on the remaining devices from charging.

The Samsung Galaxy Note7 will still be banned on passenger aircraft as well as air cargo aircraft. Only the specific pre-boarding notifications will cease to be mandatory.

AFTER THE EXPLOSION OF SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE7


After 35 reported incidents in October of overheating smartphones worldwide, Samsung made the unprecedented decision to recall every single one of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones sold. That's said to be 1 million of the 2.5 million that were manufactured. (Since the recall was first announced, the number of explosive Note 7s has nearly quadrupled.)

The company stopped all sales and shipments of the Note 7, worked with government agencies and cellular carriers around the world to provide refunds and exchanges for the phone, and apparently it still wasn't enough: As of October 10, as many as five of the supposedly safe replacement Note 7 phones have caught fire as well, and Samsung is asking all users to shut down their phones. As of October 13, Samsung is officially recalling every single Note 7, including replacement units.

According to CNET, the phone battery of Note 7 explodes much like hoverboards, which use lithium ion battery packs for their power. The liquid around inside lithium ion batteries is highly flammable.

If the battery short-circuits -- say, by puncturing the incredibly thin sheet of plastic separating the positive and negative sides of the battery -- the puncture point becomes the path of least resistance for electricity to flow.

It heats up the (flammable!) liquid electrolyte at that spot. And if the liquid heats up quickly enough, the battery can explode. (JGL)

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