By James Emejo in Abuja
Following reports of explosion of dozens of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 while charging, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has issued a seven-day ultimatum to Samsung Electronics West Africa Limited to provide information on the full status of its compliance with the global directive of Samsung on the recall of the defective mobile phone.
CPC’s ultimatum, which came on the heels of recent global recall of the product following its defective battery, also demanded Samsung Electronics to furnish it with other measures the company may have taken to safeguard the safety and interest of the Nigerian consumer.
The council, in a letter to the company dated September 14, 2016, signed by its Director General, Mrs. Dupe Atoki, said “the attention of the council has been drawn to media reports indicating that the lithium-ion batteries for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 are prone to catching fire.”
The agency’s letter stated further that “the said faulty batteries have reportedly caused the phone to explode in 35 separate incidents, sometimes bursting into flames, damaging property and leaking dangerous chemicals.”
She expressed concern
that “some Nigerian consumers may already have purchased the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 for personal or other uses.
She said:”You are, therefore, directed to, within seven days of the receipt of this letter, furnish the Council with information on the full status of your compliance with the global directive of Samsung to recall the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 forthwith, including other measures you may have taken to safeguard the safety and interest of Nigerian consumers in this respect.”
Atoki, further advised Nigerian consumers who may have purchased the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to, as an interim measure, stop using the phone forthwith.
According to her:”while awaiting the response of Samsung Electronics West Africa Limited in order to determine the number of affected consumers in Nigeria, there is an urgent need to avert whatever dangers that may be associated with the use of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in Nigeria.”
She added that in line with international best practices, the company should immediately issue a recall notice giving Nigerian consumers adequate information on the procedure for recall and the appropriate compensation being offered.
In a statement by CPC spokesman, Mr. Abioun Obimuyiwa, she urged the company to ensure that affected consumers either get a free replacement from Samsung, or a refund of their money, where necessary.
The Director General explained that Samsung had announced in the United States that consumers with Samsung Galaxy Note 7 can check whether or not their phones are affected and eligible for recall by entering the IMEI or serial number of their phone in a space provided on Samsung website, www.samsung.com/us/note/recall/, saying that Nigerian consumers can avail themselves of that facility.
CPC is the apex consumer protection agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria established by the CPC Act Cap 25, LFN 2004 to, among others, educate Nigerian consumers, remove hazardous products from the market, provide redress to consumer complaints and ban the sale of products which do not comply with safety or health regulations.