Not the sort of hot news Samsung wants: Galaxy S3 catches fire

By Lee Kaelin on

Update: dillo2k10 has informed TechSpot that Samsung's head of customer service personally visited him with a replacement Galaxy S3. He also said there was no confirmation the handset was faulty and it could have been caused by a combination of the car's heater and the car mount it sat in at the time.

There is no denying that Samsung's latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S3, is red hot property right now. But unfortunately the news are the wrong sort of hot for Samsung this morning after one owner whose new prized possession got a little too hot and actually caught fire.

Boards.ie forum user dillo2k10 from Dublin, Ireland reported yesterday that his new smartphone, purchased from UK retailer Carphone Warehouse caught fire while being used as a sat nav in his in-car holster.

"So I [was] driving along today with my Galaxy S3 in my car mount when suddenly a white flame sparks and a bang came out of the phone," he said on the Irish forum. "I pulled in to look at my phone, the phone burned from the inside out. Burned through the plastic and melted my case to my phone. The phone kept working but without any signal."

He further commented that the fire had destroyed his phone, and even left some burnt plastic on the interior of his car. The unlucky owner took it back to the store and was promptly informed that it would need to be sent off for further investigation. Frustratingly however, the store refused to give him a replacement leaving him unsure whether the damage is covered under warranty.

Despite over nine million pre-orders, with huge volumes already shipped and in the hands of consumers, this is the first documented incident of the smartphone overheating or catching fire. As such, it's currently unknown if this is an isolated incident, or a manufacturing defect affecting the phone in general.

Samsung was quick to respond to the incident, posting a brief statement this morning on its official global blog "Samsung Tomorrow" promising a thorough investigation as soon as the faulty phone arrives.

There have been recent online posts displaying pictures of a Samsung GALAXY SIII that appears to have heat-related damage at the bottom of the device. Samsung is aware of this issue and will begin investigating as soon as we receive the specific product in question.

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.

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