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Samsung nearly doubles size of fiery phone recall

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Attempting to repair the damage to its brand from combustible smartphones that have burned at least 13 people, Samsung Electronics on Thursday widened its recall and upped the incentives to persuade  customers to return their Note 7s. 

The South Korean company, the world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones, also widened its recall to 1.9 million Note 7 phones, which includes the 1 million Galaxy Note 7s initially recalled on Sept. 15.

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The decision to include new Galaxy Note 7 replacement devices as part of the expanded recall came three days after after the company gave up on the high-end device, stopping the production, sale and exchange of the product.

Samsung has received 96 reports of batteries in Note 7 phones overheating in the U.S., including 23 new reports since the recall announcement, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Samsung has received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damage related to the Note 7 phones, the CPSC added.

The CPSC and Samsung are pushing for a 100 percent response rate to the recall, which has proven “a real challenge for Samsung,” Elliot Kaye, chairman of the CPSC, said in a statement. “I am very concerned that consumers who exchanged their phones for replacement Galaxy Note 7s are now at risk again.

Starting Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET, consumers who trade a Note 7 for another Samsung smartphone will get up to a $100 credit, while customers trading a Note 7 for a refund or another smartphone made by another manufacturer will get a $25 credit.

For those looking to ship the devices back to Samsung, the company is offering to ship customers a specially designed “recovery box,” with a six-minute video on the company’s website explaining how the process works, including instructions to ship by ground and not by air.

“We appreciate the patience of our consumers, carrier and retail partners for carrying the burden during these challenging times,” Tim Baxter, president and chief operating officer, Samsung Electronics America, said in a statement. “We are committed to doing everything we can to make this right.”

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