NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and NJ TRANSIT have issued a safety warning urging commuters against using or charging the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
This comes after reports of the phone’s lithium batteries exploding and causing fires.
Video of a contained demonstration shows a malfunctioning battery can trigger unpredictable flames, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
George Crabtree of the Argonne National Laboratory said the most serious overheating problems are caused by an out of control chemical reaction.
“That fire can go on for minutes or hours, before it finally, simply runs out of fuel,” he said.
MTA and NJ TRANSIT officials say it’s that uncertainty that has them urging customers to power off their devices.
Hal Karademir rides the Long Island Railroad daily and, until lar week, owned one of the 2.5 million phones being recalled by Samsung.
“I was surprised,” Karademir said. “A company like Samsung, especially with the iPhone 7 coming out, they’d be a bit more thorough in their quality testing.”
“Last thing you want is something like that causing a much bigger issue on public transportation like the LIRR where a lot of people take it to work,” Luke Zeola, of Mineola, told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell.
Commuters at Grand Central station seemed to agree.
“I think it’s a good idea. It’s a faulty product, ban it. I use an iPhone,” one commuter told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.
“Why would they make a phone so expensive if it’s gonna blow up?” another commuter said.
Other commuters find the move by the MTA and NJ TRANSIT restrictive.
“I can see the planes, I dont know about train and buses,” one commuter said.
Kadim, 6, of East Flatbush, is still recovering from second-degree burns on his hand after his mother’s Samsung Galaxy core smartphone suddenly exploded while he was playing a game on it last weekend.
“The phone caught on fire, then the battery exploded so he threw it on the floor and it was just like fireworks in the house,” mother Marsha Lewis said.
Neither the MTA nor NJ TRANSIT has reported any cases of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 becoming a fire hazard on its properties.
The FAA has also issued a warning, saying passengers should turn their Galaxy Note 7 off, and not charge them during flights.
The batteries can be found in many rechargeable electronic devices including laptops, tablets, and children’s toys so the advice is not to check those items.
Samsung is reportedly planning to update the software in its Galaxy Note 7 phones to prevent them from overheating.