When it rains, it pours. Unfortunately for Samsung Electronics, the company may just be finding that out the hard way. After having to scrap the Galaxy Note 7 because of its propensity to burst into flames, yet another smartphone from the company is now being reported to have caught fire spontaneously. According to The Associated Press (AP), a Galaxy J5 smartphone belonging to a woman in the southwestern French city of Pau, may have caught fire without anything out of the ordinary on her part. Ms. Lamya Bouyirdane says she asked her four-year old son to pass over the phone to her, when she suddenly noticed that it had “swollen up”. Then, without any warning, smoke allegedly started billowing out of the device, and before long, it had caught fire.
She also claims that at this point, the back of the device simply blew off, prompting her to throw it down on the ground. Thankfully though, her partner managed to douse the flames before anybody got hurt. While Ms. Bouyirdane is understandably upset and is threatening to sue Samsung because of this alleged incident, the South Korean company at the center of the storm released a statement to the media, saying that it is ‘unable to comment’ on this particular incident until it carries out a thorough investigation of the compromised device. The company also reiterated that safety continues to remain its highest priority, although all the recent incidents involving its smartphones and washing machines must be making it increasingly difficult for the company to reassure consumers about its commitment to quality control.
While the scrapping of the Galaxy Note 7 is arguably one of the more remarkable stories of 2016, Samsung Electronics has also had to deal with some more negative news this year concerning some other products from its stables. Case in point is the recent recall of nearly 3 million top-loading washing machines in the U.S. (34 models in all) because of a manufacturing flaw that allowed the devices to come apart violently during high-speed spin cycles, putting anybody nearby in harm’s way. With the twin PR disasters threatening to destroy the company’s goodwill among consumers in the all-important U.S. market, Samsung just yesterday issued an apology through full-page ads it took out in at least three leading daily newspapers in the country. The company will now hope that the latest incident is just a blip on the radar rather than anything endemic.