Two weeks ago, a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee caught fire in St. Petersburg, Florida and its owner blamed his recently purchased Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and its faulty battery for the incident. However, after a thorough investigation which ended yesterday, the St. Petersburg Fire Rescue announced that its investigators failed to find any link between the phablet which was left charging plugged into the vehicle's cigarette lighter socket and the fire which occurred shortly after.
In an in-depth report which was also made public, the fire investigator in charge of the case stated that he had to classify the fire as "undetermined" due to its destructive nature which consequently made eliminating multiple other possibilities regarding the ignition source impossible. The investigator adds that while it's still possible that the Galaxy Note 7 was the cause of the fire which completely obliterated the Jeep of one Nathan Dornacher, it cannot be proven that the fire was started because of a faulty battery. As stated in the report, charging phones catching fire while being plugged into cigarette lighter sockets of cars in hot weather are a common occurrence and even otherwise perfectly functional batteries aren't designed to be charged in such conditions. The investigator concluded his report by stating that the most likely scenario which led to the incident was a minor fire caused by the battery in the Galaxy Note 7 which then proceeded to ignite the car battery which exploded. However, he reiterated that there's no way to prove that the said minor fire was caused by a faulty battery, once again stating that the conditions in which Nathan Dornacher was charging his phone were far from ideal.
Samsung is currently in the process of recalling over a million Galaxy Note 7 devices in the US suspected of being shipped with faulty batteries which were manufactured by the company's subsidiary Samsung SDI. All of the major carriers in the country have suspended sales of Samsung's latest flagship until the situation is resolved. As for Mr Dornacher, he can obviously still file a civil lawsuit against the company in hopes of getting something out of this unfortunate incident but due to the lack of conclusive evidence and the fact that Samsung already stated it's working with him to resolve the issue, that isn't a likely scenario.