U.S. regulators have recalled just over 10,000 Galaxy Note 4 batteries due to a risk of overheating that could cause burns or fires. Only handsets that were refurbished through AT&T’s insurance program and handled by FedEx Supply Chain are affected, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
It’s worrying that another Galaxy Note has been hit with a recall due to battery concerns, but this one is a lot different to the issue that plagued the Galaxy Note 7 at launch, eventually leading to a production shutdown. Firstly, it doesn’t affect every Note 4 handset that was ever sold. Secondly, the batteries at fault were not selected by Samsung.
It seems that some units refurbished by AT&T were outfitted with counterfeit batteries. These batteries are said to contain anomalies that make them unreliable and more prone to overheating. Although it’s uncommon, the battery could lead to burns if you happen to be holding it when it overheats, or fires if the problem occurs when it’s sat on a surface unattended.
Of course, the Note 4 has a replaceable battery — unlike the Note 7 — so this recall doesn’t apply to the handset itself. You can simply buy a new, genuine Samsung battery before returning the faulty one if you don’t want to wait for the replacement to arrive. However, FedEx has already begun issuing replacements and return boxes.
“FedEx Supply Chain is conducting this recall of non-genuine Samsung batteries as some of them are counterfeit,” a Samsung spokesperson told The Verge. “The refurbishment program was managed by FedEx Supply Chain and operated independently of Samsung. Any affected owners should contact FedEx Supply Chain at 1-800-338-0163 or go online at www.exchangemybattery.com for more information.”
Although the Galaxy Note 4 is three years old now, many of these refurbished devices were sold fairly recently between December 2016 and April 2017, so there’s a good chance most of them are still in use. The good news is, there are no reports of overheating or fires just yet — but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the problem.