The recall appears to be unrelated, at least so far, to last year’s Galaxy Note 7 debacle. While that one affected every single device and was the result of a design flaw, this one is more limited and doesn’t even seem to be Samsung’s fault, at least so far.
Only Galaxy Note 4 phones that were refurbished through AT&T’s insurance program and handled by FedEx Supply Chain are affected by the recall. Some of the devices were fitted with “counterfeit” batteries that were manufactured with potential defects which could make them prone to overheating, according to Samsung.
The good news is that the Note 4 has a replaceable battery, so owners just need to buy a new battery until Samsung takes care of the recall. FedEx is sending out replacement batteries and boxes for returning the recalled smartphones.
Samsung pointed the short end of the stick squarely at FedEx as the reason for the recall in a press release:
“FedEx Supply Chain is conducting this recall of non-genuine Samsung batteries as some of them are counterfeit,” the notice read. “The refurbishment program was managed by FedEx Supply Chain and operated independently of Samsung.”
Even though the Galaxy Note 4 has been on the U.S. market since 2014, the units affected by this recall were just distributed from December 2016 to April 2017.
To date, Samsung says it is aware of only 1 report of a Note 4 overheating, which caused no damage to people or property.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that anyone who purchased one of the recalled phones should stop using the battery immediately.