Samsung: consumers should exchange Galaxy Note 7 phones ASAP

FILE - In this July 28, 2016, file photo, a screen magnification feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is demonstrated, in New York. Aviation safety officials took the extraordinary step of warning airline passengers not to turn on or charge a new model Samsung smartphone during flights following numerous reports of the devices catching fire. The Federal Aviation Administration issued the warning Sept. 8, citing “recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices.” It is extremely unusual for the FAA to warn passengers about a specific product. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics is telling consumers to stop using its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones immediately and exchange them as soon as possible.

The call from the world’s largest smartphone maker comes amid reports of the phones catching fire. In a statement on its website, Samsung urges users around the world to return their Galaxy Note 7 and get a replacement.

Consumers can visit Samsung’s service centers to receive rental phones for temporary use. Samsung plans to provide Galaxy Note 7 devices with new batteries in South Korea starting Sept. 19, but schedules for other countries vary.

Earlier this month, Samsung announced a recall of 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7s worldwide, just two weeks after the phone was launched. The South Korean company said that rechargeable lithium batteries manufactured by one of its suppliers were faulty.

Late Friday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission urged owners of the phone to turn them off and leave them off.

Several airlines have asked travelers not to use or charge the smartphones while flying or put them in checked baggage.

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