SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung’s crisis with its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone hit a new low on Monday as the company confirmed that it has made production changes, following reports that newly released versions offered as replacements for recalled fire-prone phones have also overheated or caught fire.
In a statement and in a regulatory filing, Samsung Electronics said it is “temporarily” adjusting the Galaxy Note 7 production schedule and production volume to “ensure quality and safety matters.” The company added that it will issue an update when more details are available.
But Samsung fell short of confirming or denying earlier media reports that it had halted production.
Earlier in the day, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency was first to report that Note 7 production was suspended.
Before the reports of production suspension emerged, U.S. phone retailers AT&T and T-Mobile had already opted to stop giving new Note 7 replacement smartphones to consumers.
Samsung and U.S. authorities are investigating reports of the new Note 7 replacement smartphone catching fire, including a Samsung phone that emitted smoke and forced a Southwest Airlines flight in Kentucky to evacuate passengers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating the incident.
The production change suggests fresh trouble for Samsung as it awaits U.S. authorities’ investigation into the replacement phones. It had promised that its new Note 7 devices with a green battery icon were safe.
The reports of replacement phones catching fire raise doubts over whether the battery is the only problem in the fire-prone smartphone as Samsung initially said. When it issued a global recall on Sept. 2, Samsung blamed the batteries supplied by one of its two battery suppliers and assured consumers that other parts of the smartphones were fine.