MTA: Turn off your faulty Samsung phone before commuting


Transportation authorities are advising travelers to turn off their Samsung Galaxy Note7s while commuting.

Some phones are equipped with a faulty lithium battery that could overheat, causing the device to catch fire.

On Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advised passengers not to store the phones in checked luggage or use the phone while in flight. New Jersey Transit followed up Tuesday with a similar advisory.

“We are asking our customers who have the Galaxy Note7, to simply turn it off before entering an NJ TRANSIT facility or boarding a vehicle.” said interim Executive Director Dennis Martin in a statement. “Because of the uncertainties surrounding this device, we are issuing this precautionary advisory to ensure the safety of all of our customers.”

In New York, the MTA is urging customers to do the same. The agency will be sending advisories through its social media platforms, according to MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz.

“Existing rules already prohibit bringing flammable or hazardous materials into our system. Apparently, this device qualifies as such,” said Ortiz, in an email.

“Customers who own the Galaxy Note7 should heed both Samsung and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s requests to power down these devices and stop charging or using them.”

Ortiz added that there have been no reported cases of Samsung Galaxy Note 7s catching fire in MTA facilities.

Samsung has sold 2.5 million Note 7s around the world and estimates that one out of every 42,000 phones might have a faulty battery, the Associated Press reports. The company has worked the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for a global recall and replacement program.

“Lithium-ion batteries pack a lot of power into a small package. When these batteries overheat and burst, the results can be serious,” the department said last week. “This is why the CPSC is urging all consumers who own a Samsung Galaxy Note7 to power them down and stop charging or using the device.”

 

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