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FMCSA asks truckers to discontinue use of Samsung Note7 phones, keep them unplugged

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Updated Oct 23, 2016
FMCSA has issued a safety advisory for Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones.FMCSA has issued a safety advisory for Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones.

Truck drivers who purchased a Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone have been advised by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to turn the phones off and keep them unplugged while in their vehicles, among other safety precautions.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is following in the FAA’s footsteps, which banned the phones from flights on Oct. 14.

Recalls have been issued on the phones because of incidents involving the lithium-ion batteries in the phones overheating and catching fire. FMCSA says there have been 96 reports to Samsung about batteries overheating, as well as 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damage associated with the phones.

FMCSA is recommending people who intend to carry the phones while in a truck or bus take the following precautions:

  • Turn off the phone
  • Disconnect it from any chargers
  • Disable any apps that could activate the phone, such as an alarm
  • Cover the power switch to make sure it doesn’t get inadvertently turned on
  • Keep the device in an accessible bag or with you, and don’t place it in a bad in an inaccessible baggage compartment).

FMCSA adds the phones are subject to the regulatory prohibition in the Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations, which states transporting electrical devices, such as batteries and battery-powered devices, likely to create sparks is prohibited, unless they are packaged to prevent sparking. The agency adds the phones can only be transported as cargo with a special permit or approval issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

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