Family's Car Destroyed by Exploding Samsung Phone That Was Recalled 3 Days Earlier
A Florida family got the shock of their lives over the holiday weekend when they discovered their Jeep engulfed in flames apparently after a phone left in the car exploded.
Nathan Dornacher and his wife Lydia Dornacher had returned home from a garage sale to unload a desk for their daughter Monday morning. Nathan left his Samsung Galaxy Note7 cell phone charging in the vehicle.
When he returned to the car to get the device, he couldn't believe what he saw.
“We were planning on grabbing the dog and [their 8-year-old daughter] and heading to Petco,” he wrote on Facebook. “I head back out to the car to grab my phone … and see flames.”
Fire had spread throughout the entire vehicle and black smoke billowed out of the torched SUV, photos of the incident showed.
St. Petersburg fire crews extinguished the fire. All that was left was metal, wires and ash.
“Not the barbecue I wanted on my day off,” Nathan Dornacher wrote.
The harrowing incident came just three days after Samsung recalled its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in 10 countries after 35 incidents of the devices catching fire or exploding were confirmed.
Of the 35 prior incidents, 17 took place in the United States, with 17 others in Korea and one in Taiwan, Samsung said.
No injuries have been reported in relation to the recall.
After a thorough investigation, Samsung identified a “battery cell issue,” the company said in a September 2 statement.
In a question and answer section on its U.K. news portal, Samsung explained that “an overheating of the battery cell occurred when the anode-to-cathode came into contact, which is a very rare manufacturing process error.”
Customers who already bought the Note 7s could exchange them for new smartphones “as early as this week,” Samsung noted on its site, but a specific date was not mentioned.
“We are aware of the incident and we are working with Mr. Dornacher to investigate his case and ensure we do everything we can for him,” a Samsung spokesperson said in a statement to InsideEdition.com. “Consumer safety is Samsung’s highest priority. With regard to the Galaxy Note7, we are asking owners to take advantage of the Product Exchange Program announced on Friday of last week.
“The program offers Note7 owners the opportunity to exchange the phone for a new one. More details on the program can be found at http://www.samsung.com/us/note7exchange/.”
Nathan Dornacher wrote on Thursday that Samsung has been very helpful since the incident.
“They are sending someone to review everything,” he wrote on Facebook. “We will not gain anything from this for the keyboard investigators out there. Yes we had insurance but very minimum and nothing to cover any of the recent work done [to the vehicle] no one’s fault but our own.
“We are not and have not asked for anything, we are not getting a lawyer, we will replace in time when we can afford it,” he continued. “All I want out of this is for everyone to take this recall seriously and if you didn't know about it please educate yourself before it's too late. I had the phone for 5 days and not having TV or a notification we did not know.
“We are safe no one was hurt all that matters to me.”