Samsung Electronics Co.’s recall of one of its most advanced smart phones descended further into confusion, as the technology giant told consumers to stop using the Galaxy Note 7 and halted its production and distribution, while investigators probed reports of overheating batteries on devices that were supposed to be safe.
The company late on Monday U.S. time said it was asking all telecom carriers and retailers that sell the Note 7 globally to stop sales and exchanges of the device pending investigation into the latest incidents. Major U.S. carriers already had made that move on their own.
Consumers with either an original or a replacement Note 7 should power down and stop using the device, said Samsung.
The Samsung announcement came after the company suspended production of the Note 7, a decision that raised questions about Samsung’s initial diagnosis of the problem, which attributed overheating batteries in some Note 7s to manufacturing issues at one of its suppliers. Samsung said last month that it stopped using batteries from that supplier.
The turn of events has shaken already-damaged confidence in the global recall of 2.5 million Note 7s that began more than a month ago, creating a headache for consumers, carriers and airlines worried that the smartphone’s faulty batteries could cause smoke or fires in midflight.
Shares in Samsung Electronics fell by more than 7% in Seoul Tuesday.