Samsung said it is a manufacturing flaw that is causing some of its brand new.
The phones have been recalled. The company is warning customers to stop using them.
After a number of devices with lithium batteries have had issues they are coming under increased scrutiny.
The rechargeable lithium ion batteries are unique because lithium ions move from one side to another. Ions from the positive side, are separated by an electrolyte layer, but make their way to the negative side when charging. During use, the flow reverses.
Samsung tells CBS News the positve and negative side came into contact with each other causing the manufacturing process error.
“That’s called a short circuit,” Walter van Schwalkwijk said. Van Schalkwijk studies electrochemistry.
“This was definitely a manufacturing flaw,” he said.
Lithium ion batteries have become increasingly popular over the years because they’re light weight and can store large amounts of energy, powering electronics like laptops and hover boards.
Last week, Nathan Dornacher’s Jeep caught fire after he left his new phone inside it--to charge.
It would be “very rare” for it to happen on another device, said van Schwalkwijk said.
Samsung has not said where the phones were manufactured.