Samsung will issue a software update later this month that renders Galaxy Note 7 phones useless, the company announced on Friday, nearly three months after the smartphone was recalled due to a fire hazard.
The company said on its website on Friday that it will release a software update in the U.S. on November 19 to prevent Note 7 devices from charging. As a result, the phones will permanently stop working once the battery runs out.
Samsung said it was taking the measure to protect the safety of its customers. Approximately 93 percent of Note 7 phones that were sold in the United States have been returned so far, meaning that as many as 70,000 phones could still be in use.
Regulators in the United States and other countries issued recalls in mid-September after an investigation showed that the phone’s lithium-ion battery was prone to overheat and catch fire. Samsung briefly tried to issue a replacement but permanently ended production in October when new problems were discovered.
The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said in September that Samsung had received at least 92 reports of Galaxy Note 7 batteries overheating, causing 26 burns 55 cases of property damage, including fires in cars and garage. No fatalities have been reported.
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