Samsung to investigate "burned" Galaxy S III

Samsung to investigate "burned" Galaxy S III

Summary: The owner claimed that the "phone burned from the inside out" and posted images of the damaged smartphone on the Web.


Samsung is to investigate a handset that suddenly emitted "white flame, sparks and a bang" while connected to a car mount, a claim made by the owner.

The report appeared on the Irish message board The owner claimed that the "phone burned from the inside out," and "burned through the plastic and melted my case to my phone," and that the incident "slightly burned a piece of plastic on the inside of my car".

The owner has confirmed that the car mount did not feature an in-car charger and was only used to hold the handset.

The owner also posted photos of the damaged handset.

The user initially had problems getting the handset replaced by the retailer, the U.K.'s Carphone Warehouse, but has since received a visit from Samsung's head of customer services, who replaced the handset and promised to send the owner "some free stuff."

Following the replacement of the handset, the owner has since updated the forum post to say that there is "no confirmation that it was a fault with the phone" and that "it may actually have been caused by a combination of my car mount and my cars heating system".

Samsung have issued a short statement noting that "there have been recent online posts displaying pictures of a Samsung Galaxy S III that appears to have heat-related damage at the bottom of the device".

"Once the investigation is complete, we will be able to provide further details on the situation. We are committed to providing our customers with the safest products possible and are looking at this seriously".

Image source: dillo2k10/


Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Samsung

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  • Head of Customer Service?

    Someone is taking this seriously and wanting to minimize any negative reactions.
    Something you seldom see these days.
    Nicely done.
  • This just reaffirms my decision

    to never buy another Samsung smartphone... IMHO they are junk. HTC makes a far superior product. That is some really killer customer service on Samsung's part though.
    • Rediculous.

      There at so many reasons this could happen. Worry if I happens every week. As it is, it looks to be a one off. Investigate it. Find the cause. No reason to think this is a trend.
      • It could be

        But it seems like a lot of Apple Haters got the point I was making judging by the down votes - not so much as a Samsung bash (I DO think their smartphones are junk) but as a mocking of those "OMG 3 iPhones exploded they must all be bad, Apple sucks" posts...
        • This is not about Apple is Better than Samsung BS.

          The user clearer have said his holder doesn't have power, so what does he do he uses a incompatible or a charger that isn't well regulated for over voltages. There seems to be a lot of damage caused by the USB charging port, which indicates a charger malfunction.
    • A ploy by someone who wants to cash in.

      This could be a ploy by the owner to get money, or maybe he was paid by Apple to make some bad publicity towards Samsung's new phone to sway people away from Samsung and towards Apple's next 4s2 garbage.
  • Well handled

    It's not even clear that there is any problem with their product yet and Samsung has stepped up to the plate to address the issue. Much better than the resounding silence from other companies when a problem occurs with their product.
  • Except for the old Motorola Startacs and Razrs.....

    ....Samsung has been the ONLY phones I have been happy with!
    The rest have been clunky junk!
    I'm glad Samsung didn't try to ignore the problem (even if it may have been caused by the user)!
  • caused by a combination of my car mount and my cars heating

    Yeah, when I have my heater on, things randomly burst into flames too. Wonder how much samsung paid him to say that.
    • may there is an esoteric link

      between your heater's dial and the samsung phone.
      or may be the heater was defect and was shooting flames through the vents.
      The Linux Geek
  • I can see why they'd do this for him.

    If this had happened while it was up against someone's head, especially if they had, say, been a woman with a lot of hair spray, their head could have burst into flames quite quickly. They're trying to find out what happened before it hurts someone and it gets them a lawsuit for tens of millions.

    Electronics spontaneously bursting into flame is seriously bad juju for hardware companies, no matter what the cause, and is worthy of some special attention. But, that's just my opinion as an Electronics Engineering Tech. Personally I'm guessing that it's a failure in quality control allowing a solder ball to bridge power pins.
  • From the images and the story

    Sounds like the car mount is at fault. The only way I can see that kind of "burn" is if the car mount was sending more power than the specs called ... or if the "plug" had shorted connections
    • Except that the owner...

      Confirmed in the article that it was a non-powered mount that was only used to hold the phone. So, theoretically the mount should have had no effect whatsoever on this situation.
      However, it was the first thing I thought as well before I finished reading.
      • what did you expect the owner to say?

        well, of course, the owner say that. From the pictures it is pretty clear that the battery was not affected, only the place where the mini-USB slot connects to the usb cable.
  • Size over substance

    Smaller = more prone to defects, and overheating... especially if it's a Mac. :)

    But maybe the user was holding it wrong... :rolleyes:
  • Samsungs "plastic fantastic" phones are pretty much junk. They have fully

    embraced the "race to the bottom" concept with their android line. The only good ones left now are Nokia, with HTC showing potential.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Opinions differ

      Of all the phones I have owned, I have had more breakage with my iphone4 than any other phone. So far I have managed to break both panes - front and back. These include Apple, Samsung, Moto and HTC
    • What's wrong with plastic, if it is used to good effect?

      My Galaxy Note is 80% larger than a 4s, but only 28% heavier. Only plastic allows such weight saving, and the thin flexible backs allow the phone to be thin.

      I had a HTC HD2, and the only metal part (battery cover) was the only part that consistently fell off when dropped, even from a low height onto carpet! The GN's back is far more securely held than the HD2s metal, and its flexibility allows it to shock absorb better.

      Cars used to have rigid frames, but less rigid, collapsible frames protect occupants from collision damage better.
  • Consider the worst

    Let's try to rule out that the owner might have been trying to rip off Samsung. (People do do bad thing all the time.)
    First, would it be even possible for the power cord to carry enough CURRENT (amperage) to be able to get the kind of heating seen at the plug area?

    Second, would the wires FROM the battery be able to carry enough amperage to do it?
    Third, under very high magnification, does it look like it was heated from the inside, or was it the result of a high current arcing from external wires or other conductors arcing very near to the external plug?

    Fourth, did this customer ever have any activity in performing a deliberate scam in the past? Publicize his name and query other electronics vendors. Do a criminal background check.

    In other words, don't automatically assume that this was a product fault, when it might have been a scam attempt.
  • More Overheating Isues

    Maybe Kingsley-Hughes should check into more heating problems with the device as reported in the Android forums.