back to article Florida Man's prized jeep cremated by exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung's ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 is once again being blamed for causing a serious fire. A man in St Petersburg, Florida, claims that while charging inside his truck, the phablet combusted and caused a massive blaze that totalled his Jeep Grand Cherokee. Lydia Dornacher told Tampa Bay news station Fox 13 that she and her …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Always carry a fire extinguisher under the passenger seat

    Crap chargers, crap batteries, crap phones and other crap infotainment electronics. It is a small wonder that there are so few fires. I barely saved one of my cars after the stereo combusted and set the central console on fire. If it was just 20 seconds later the car would have been a write off. In this case, a new console off E-Bay, new switches, one hour of crimping and two days of cleaning resurrected it (for now).

    While doing it I noticed a few things - the fire retardants in the modern car ABS do not fire retard. The f*cking thing still burns. The fuses are not particularly effective either. They will not blow even if half of the console is on fire and both the stereo and the accessories are short provided that it is "fried electronics short", not a direct one.

    1. RIBrsiq

      Re: Always carry a fire extinguisher under the passenger seat

      Excellent idea. Indeed, having an extinguisher in the car at all times is a legal requirement, around these parts.

      But would not have helped in this specific case, as it sounds like the car was unattended at the time. Of course, it could be argued that leaving your expensive and combustible S7 to charge in an attended car is courting disaster in and of itself.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Always carry a fire extinguisher under the passenger seat

        Of course, it could be argued that leaving your expensive and combustible S7 to charge in an attended car is courting disaster in and of itself.

        Yes, I've been in places where that would have lasted all of 5 minutes before someone would have smashed in the window and taken it. Which, ironically, would have saved the car :).

    2. Jedit
      Trollface

      "the fire retardants in the modern car ABS do not fire retard"

      The guy left an unattended device charging in his car despite there having been a product recall for that device because it sometimes catches fire when charging, also he's wearing a DON'T TREAD ON ME T-shirt. I think it's obvious that in this case the retardation had been removed from the vehicle, because he wasn't in it.

      1. Swarthy

        Re: "the fire retardants in the modern car ABS do not fire retard"

        Go easy on him... he's Florida Man.

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: "the fire retardants in the modern car ABS do not fire retard"

        Because of course you're retarded if you don't spend your life online reading news sites that report on mobile phone recalls.

        Sheesh! Love the smell of elitism in the morning. :/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "the fire retardants in the modern car ABS do not fire retard"

          Because of course you're retarded if you don't spend your life online reading news sites that report on mobile phone recalls.

          Sheesh! Love the smell of elitism in the morning. :/

          Still better than the smell of someone manhandling themselves in the morning..

          It was also in various printed newspapers. Remember those? Generally much better to start fires with than the electronic variety, with the exception of that Samsung Galaxy Note 7?

    3. Paul

      Re: Always carry a fire extinguisher under the passenger seat

      Whilst I agree that having a fire extinguisher is a good thing, I am fairly sure most extinguishers won't help against a Lithium fire.

  2. MatsSvensson

    I bet all this will be solved with the next generation magnesium-plutonium batteries.

  3. frank ly

    The windscreen glass melted

    Are car fires usually that hot?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: The windscreen glass melted

      Depends on the amount of lithium left in them.

    2. patrickstar

      Re: The windscreen glass melted

      No idea how hot car fires get, but car windows are not pure glass. They have a layer of glass sandwiched between plastic. So the molten stuff might very well be plastic while the shattered stuff is glass.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The windscreen glass melted

        Other way round: They're a layer of plastic sandwiched between to layers of glass.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windshield

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The windscreen glass melted

          Why aren't car windshields made of some sort of transparent plastic? You would think that would cut down on cracked windshields... big glass runs Washington?

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: The windscreen glass melted

            Plastic scratches easily and UV degrades quite quickly.

            The glass has coatings to reflect any the UV and is very hard to avoid scratches.

            The plastic then provides the extreme toughness to prevent easy cracking and ensure that the pane breaks "safely" in the event of a collision.

            Mixed materials are very often far better than any one material.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The windscreen glass melted

              "The plastic then provides the extreme toughness "

              It's more than that. Laminated construction means the inner and outer glass has some flexibility and, if they deflect, the plastic absorbs the relative deformation. It's a typical composite material; wood works the same way (rigid fibres in a more flexible matrix).

              You can get exactly the same effect on a phone with a glass screen protector, which has a layer of plastic in contact with the actual screen. The result seems to be a lot tougher than the screen alone. I was once pushed hard enough into a stone pillar that my phone bruised a rib, yet the front of the phone - that came into contact with the corner of the pillar was undamaged.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The windscreen glass melted

        "They have a layer of glass sandwiched between plastic."

        Other way around, I believe - a layer of plastic sandwiched between glass.

    3. TWB

      Re: The windscreen glass melted

      @Are car fires usually that hot?

      Where I work, the building engineers use a figure of 1MW for 'each' car on fire in the basement car park (if such a thing were to happen) - they have this figure in mind when they consider the resilience of the building in relation to the services we provide - if we had to evacuate and how long it could sustain it etc.

      We do lots of different things for different people and do not have full DR for everything.

      1. JeffyPoooh
        Pint

        Re: The windscreen glass melted

        "...a figure of 1MW for 'each' car on fire in the basement..."

        Megawatt (MW) is a unit of Power.

        Without including a unit of Time, it doesn't communicate anything about Energy.

        If each exploding car emitted 1 MW, but for only 1 microsecond, such a short flash would have no significant effect on the building.

        Common sense tells us that a car on fire at max heat might burn for 20-30 minutes, smoldering much longer. About 500kW-hr, or about $50 worth of energy (YMMV). The engineers involved must include or assume such a unit of Time in their calculations. They'd have to, or else their calculations wouldn't work.

        I just thought it was worth mentioning, so everyone can be aware of the distinction between Power and Energy in this excellent example.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The windscreen glass melted

          The engineers involved must include or assume such a unit of Time in their calculations.

          That's true. But how quickly does the energy in the fuel tank get released if that is ruptured by the heat of a car fire? I'd guess (on the basis of no evidence at all) about four minutes unless the air gets used up. Say 500 kWh released in four minutes, that's a lot of MW in terms of power....

          And your 500 kWh would be the fuel in the tank, tyres and plastics would I suspect double that, although they'd take a bit longer to burn. So perhaps 1 MWh per car, and perhaps 8 MW peak power?

        2. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: The windscreen glass melted

          There are 10 kWh in a litre of petrol. My car has a 35 litre tank. Larger cars tend to have a 60-70 litre tank. That should give you some idea of the numbers involved.

    4. Will 28

      Re: The windscreen glass melted

      This is a totally uneducated guess, as I know nothing about windscreens, but it could be that it was damaged in putting out the fire. My experience of hot glass and cold water is that it tends to shatter. While the windscreen may be some composite rather than sheet glass, a jet of cold stuff fired into it may have had a similarly destructive effect.

    5. aregross

      Re: The windscreen glass melted

      "The windscreen glass melted

      Are car fires usually that hot?"

      A lot of vehicles now have a Magnesium support in the dash. If that starts-up it gets pretty hot, hence the melted glass windshield.

    6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: The windscreen glass melted

      @Are car fires usually that hot?

      Personal experience :

      I was doing a consulting job for one of the larger French banks in Paris in the summer of 1997 (good times). It was lunch hour, the canteen was on the 3rd floor, I was sitting next to the window overlooking the street. Although the windows were soundproofed, I heard a collision. Curious, I looked outside.

      A small Renault 5 had ran into a street pole. The driver was trying to get out. I noticed the police sirens when three cars came careening in. They arrested the guy without trouble.

      That's when I noticed the gas dripping from the rear of the car. I don't know how long it had been dripping, but seconds after I noticed it, the gas caught fire (it was summer). As I watched, it took about three to four minutes before the fire appeared inside the car, but when it did, it took less than 90 seconds and the car was a raging inferno. Seats, tires, paint, everything was burning.

      In the middle of that inferno, I heard a big bang - the windshield had shattered and wanted people to know it.

      That's how hot a car fire can get.

      End of story ? The cops spread out as soon as they noticed the fire, making sure nobody got too close, but they didn't try to put it out. I didn't see anyone radio in, but the fire truck arrived in due time - after the car was reduced to a metal husk. In all the confusion, the perp had been taken away without my noticing.

      A most interesting lunch.

  4. wolfetone Silver badge

    It's widely known that Samsung have recalled the phone for this very reason. You all saw the photos of what would happen to the phone, and if it's serious enough for a recall to be made then it's serious enough to stop using the phone and give it to Samsung as soon as possible.

    But this guy continued to use it after the recall, then cried that it burnt his car out?

    1. RIBrsiq

      Exactly my thoughts, indeed.

      I wonder what the legal situation is, in this case. Are Samsung liable, even after a well-publicized recall?

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Samsung is probably still liable, but this guy and his wife should really read more news and less car/tablet ads.

      2. OffBeatMammal

        In the US at least Samsung have not gone through the "official" recall process - http://www.consumerreports.org/smartphones/consumer-reports-samsung-should-officially-recall-galaxy-note7/ ... this means they're handling it themselves and that maybe opens them up to liability especially as retailers are still potentially selling ticking time bombs. I did see of one report where a Note7 has set fire to a hotel room and Samsung have agreed to pay for the damages (http://gizmodo.com/galaxy-note-7-explodes-in-hotel-room-and-causes-nearly-1786279887)

        Sad really... I was going to get one last weekend, but seeing the news I might hold off for a while...

        1. Tony Paulazzo

          I was going to get one last weekend, but seeing the news I might hold off for a while...

          Wait for the fire sale - this phone is dead in the water, should be able to pick up a refurb (replaced battery) for peanuts when this is all over.

          Mind you, am shocked they didn't send a message to every Note7 urging them to get a replacement immediately, wouldn't this open them up to lawsuits (esp. in the litigious US) - just heard about a child being burned, this is a PR disaster..

    2. Paul 25

      I only know because I read the reg

      and other specialist tech websites.

      The recall was only a couple of days ago.

      It seems perfectly reasonable to not know about a product recall. It's not as if it was on the front pages of the papers (that I've seen).

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: I only know because I read the reg

        @ Paul 25

        I understand, but in the UK at least it was on the news outlets. My girlfriend, who isn't interested in tech at all, even said "Oh my God did you hear about the exploding Samsung phones???". Suppose that'll be his argument, that he didn't know, and it'll be up to Samsung then to prove they did everything they could to promote the recall.

        1. kain preacher

          Re: I only know because I read the reg

          It made the news in the US. Pops asked me if I had that phone.

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        In the UK it isn't on sale yet.

        So, are you not seeing information about the recall in a territory where this phone is sold?

        Also, does the phone itself tell you? That seems technically feasible.

        Also, does it actually come with a car charger? The Apple fire and electrocution cases tend to be claimed as involving poor quality third-party charging equipment. So that could be what was the problem this time too.

        1. Darryl

          Re: In the UK it isn't on sale yet.

          I thought I'd read that the cases had been narrowed down to either cheap USB 3.1 cables or cheap adapters to plug a micro USB charger into a USB 3.1 port?

          1. Down not across Silver badge

            Re: In the UK it isn't on sale yet.

            I thought I'd read that the cases had been narrowed down to either cheap USB 3.1 cables or cheap adapters to plug a micro USB charger into a USB 3.1 port?

            Would be daft to use cheap MicroUSB to USB-C adapter when the phone ships with Samsung adapter (which of course could be no better than some cheap one).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: In the UK it isn't on sale yet.

              Samsung was reported to have narrowed it down to the battery being used, though it is possible it might be vulneable only in combination with other stuff to do with USB-C or converters. Apparently the ones sold in China are fine, because they used a different battery.

              I wonder who made the battery in the Chinese ones, and who made the battery in the rest? It would be extra egg on Samsung's face if they made the dodgy batteries, and the phones sold in China used some Chinese made battery that was fine...

              1. PaulR79
                Mushroom

                Re: In the UK it isn't on sale yet.

                @DougS and others regarding the battery source.

                I'm surprised that you and others are unaware of the source but it is indeed as you thought. Samsung made the majority of the batteries (around 70% I've read) and they are indeed the self-immolating ones whereas the Chinese non-Samsung manufactured batteries are fine. I had a quiet chuckle to myself about the usual "cheap Chinese import crap" and fire safety when I discovered it was Samsung at fault.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  @PaulR79

                  Thanks for the update, I hadn't heard a conclusion had been reached on that already. That is indeed egg in Samsung's face, but this one case where Chinese made batteries were not the problem won't change the perception after all the cases when they have been, from replacement Blackberry batteries a decade ago, to the batteries in Chinese made hoverboards last Christmas, to many other cases in between...

          2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: In the UK it isn't on sale yet.

            How is that even technically possible?

            Don't they have a fuse in the phone in case of overvoltage?

        2. Down not across Silver badge

          Re: In the UK it isn't on sale yet.

          It was on sale in UK. I suspect anyone how pre-ordered got their phones. Samsung stopped selling it before the official release date (sensible as it needed to narrow down the problem and also has lot of devices to replace).

          I know that at least CPW sent text messages to their customers who they had supplied the Note 7.

          Not it does not come with car charger.

          Given it has USB-C, it would be logical to suspect something similar like the Anker incicent but Samsung seems to be of the opinion that fault is with the battery (they have more than supplier so probably one supplier or one batch has some issues).

        3. Down not across Silver badge

          Re: In the UK it isn't on sale yet.

          Also, does the phone itself tell you? That seems technically feasible.

          It does. Certainly today in UK Note 7's have been getting messages from Samsung to turn off the phone and get it replaced as a precaution. They have confirmed (in the same message) manufacturing issue in some batteries. Apparently whoever sold the phone, will be exchanging it (from September 19th onwards).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: In the UK it isn't on sale yet.

            That's the problem though, Samsung was originally seen by some as "doing the right thing" by offering voluntary replacement. It was obvious how serious it was from having so many incidents in the first week after the phone was made available - if you had 35 in the first week you can expect at least that many in the next week since more phones had been sold by then, etc.

            Samsung didn't do a full recall because they didn't want the bad publicity that would go along with it. The US government forced their hand on the recall here in the US, and now with this six year old having one blow up while he's holding it over the weekend, they've been forced into the full recall anyway by instructing people to immediately discontinue use and get it replaced.

            They took a serious problem where they could have been seen to be going above and beyond to take care of their customers with a full recall from day one, but turned it into a massive PR disaster with their wishy washy optional replacement program that they communicated by press only even though they obviously had ways of directly contacting customers and could have immediately recalled all remaining products off the shelves to insure no more were sold once they were aware of the issue and knew how serious it could be to life/safety.

            This will go in business school textbooks as an example of what not to do.

      3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: I only know because I read the reg

        I think the registered owners officially have to be notified of the recall by snail mail in the US. At least that seems to be true with cars. This is partly a holdover from pre-Internet days.

      4. Hans 1

        Re: I only know because I read the reg

        I thought they had texted the relevant phones about the recall, well, Sammy had the carriers do that, iirc.

    3. clickbg

      Well Samsung officially recalled the phone on Friday 02.09 and US Labour Day(the day of the incident) was on Monday 05.09.

      Maybe the guy was not watching the news during the weekend?

      Reference: https://news.samsung.com/global/statement-on-galaxy-note7

      Reference 2: The article.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Better call Saul!

      Looks to me like a variation of an insurance scam. Guy needs money so he torches his car and tries to blame the phone because he isn't insured. As I assume any investigation will reveal.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        insurance scam

        Fire investigators are actually really good at determining the source of fire, so if the guy torched his car and blamed the phone, he'll probably be found out.

        Even if he did that doesn't absolve Samsung of the responsibility for selling a phone that does indeed explode / catch on fire at a far greater rate than other other phones.

  5. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    You win some, you lose some

    The post is required, and must contain letters.

  6. Thought About IT

    Unusual dog

    What's a "family service dog".

    1. Blitterbug

      Re: Unusual dog

      Isn't that Merkin for Guide Dog?

      1. Paul 25

        Re: Unusual dog

        May not be a guide dog but could be for some other disability.

        Dogs are being used more and more to help people, from detecting epileptic fits before they happen to helping people with mobility problems.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Unusual dog

          Does a dachshund who can fetch slippers (although only one at a time) count as a family service dog?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Unusual dog

            SSS, slipper service sausage.

          2. gregthecanuck
            Happy

            Re: Unusual dog

            That's it. You win the chuckle of the day award. :)

            Cheers!

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Unusual dog

      In looking this up, I discovered that in the USofA, ASDA is not a supermarket but Autism Service Dogs of America.

      1. Bloakey1
        Trollface

        Re: Unusual dog

        "In looking this up, I discovered that in the USofA, ASDA is not a supermarket but Autism Service Dogs of America."

        We ought to train these up so that they bite all those autistic hackers who break in to American web site. People would know them by their legs, if they were all bitey <sic> and scratched, they had been at it and an extradition could be expedited because of hard evidence and sore legs.

        1. Jeffrey Nonken

          Re: Unusual dog

          That was... an inane sort of tangent. Not going to call you an insensitive clod, I'm not really insulted that easily. An ignorant buffoon, maybe.

          My daughter is autistic, needs more-or-less constant supervision. Doesn't actually need such a dog herself, but I can see it in some cases.

          But she's never going to hack your computer or anybody else's.

          On the spectrum myself, self-diagnosed. High-functioning enough that I generally pass as neurotypical. Not interested in hacking into anything.

          Not going to downvote you. Not worth it.

      2. I Like Heckling

        Re: ASDA

        "In looking this up, I discovered that in the USofA, ASDA is not a supermarket but Autism Service Dogs of America."

        In the US ASDA is known as Walmart.... well, actually it's the other way round... Walmart in the UK is called ASDA.

        1. Wensleydale Cheese

          Re: ASDA

          "In the US ASDA is known as Walmart.... well, actually it's the other way round... Walmart in the UK is called ASDA."

          Walmart bought ASDA in 1999, rescuing them from near-bankruptcy.

          And scrolling back up to ASDA's Early History, we find that the name came from a contraction of Asquith and Dairies:

          In 1965, when the Asquith brothers approached Associated Dairies to run the butchery departments within their small store chain, a merger was proposed. So they joined together with Noel Stockdale, Arthur Stockdale's son, to form a new company, Asquith + Dairies = Asda (capitalised from 1985).

    3. PNGuinn
      Joke

      Re: Unusual dog

      It's Florida.

      In Blighty that sort of thing would get you into some serious trouble.

      RSPCA Gestapo and all that.

      At least no alligators were harmed ...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Unusual dog

      I'm now planning to get a Service Hyena. Originally I was planning on a Service Hippopotamus, but they tend to use their tails to spray feces around. Flying hippo poo raining down might be an issue at the local food court. The Hyena should work out better.

      There's a guy in Canada (of course) with a Service? / Pet? Bison. I kid you not.

      https://www.google.ca/search?q=pet+bison&tbm=isch

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So note 7 phablets can be used in lieu of the usual accelerants when you want to get rid of a lemon of a car without anybody being the wiser...

    Am not accusing the guy of doing such a thing... :)

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Well.. several articles did say it was a "beloved" vehicle. But being a Jeep Cherokee I'll allow for some misrepresentation of "beloved" as they do have a reputation for reliability issues.

      1. Down not across Silver badge

        But being a Jeep Cherokee I'll allow for some misrepresentation of "beloved" as they do have a reputation for reliability issues.

        Funny. I've had several (including Grands) and they've been perfectly reliable. Can't speak for the newer (<10 year old) ones. Chances are, like most things these days, they're no longer built to last and take whatever is thrown at them.

      2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        @Mark 85 - It could be beloved as it was a very nice vehicle for them. The reliability issues are real but it is moving target as vehicles seem to be more reliable now than 15+ years ago.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So...

    so have they sued Samsung for a billion $$$ yet?

    If not why not?

    This is litigation crazy america after all...

  10. Yesnomaybe

    I'll have one.

    I will buy a Note 7. But as with my Note 2 and Note 4, not until it has been on the market for a year or so. I am guessing most of the snags will have been ironed out by then.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: I'll have one.

      Or all the affected ones will have self-combusted.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'll have one.

      I am guessing most of the snags will have been ironed out by then.

      I reckon they'll still combust if you iron them. Oh, wait ..

    3. Bloakey1

      Re: I'll have one.

      By the sound of it you will be able to turn it upside down and use it as an iron anyway.

      Just think of the terrorist potential of these devices. The IRA spent years perfecting small incendiaries to stash in clothes shops etc. Nowadays you could save on the R&D and just by a phone, put it on charge and possibly ring it to aid combustion.

  11. Tom Paine

    Jeep Cherokee? Good riddance. One less bloated gas-guzzling tank on the road.

    1. cray74

      What first struck me about this story is that Florida Man put his phone in his running car to charge it as opposed to bringing it inside. However, I finally found the answer why he didn't charge it in the house: "I left [the car] running with the AC on to keep the car cool as we were planning on grabbing the dog and heading to Petco. I went back out to the car to grab my phone which was on the charger (me and Lydia always fight over the house charger), went to open the door and saw flames inside."

      I was hoping for more Florida Man logic, but that was almost sensible. :)

      Jeep Cherokee? Good riddance. One less bloated gas-guzzling tank on the road.

      The Jeep Cherokee is positively lightweight among 'Merican SUVs, with curb weights of under 4,000lbs and up to 30mpg highway (7.84 L / 100km). The Grand Cherokee in this story is distinctly heavier, but still offers up to 26mpg highway (9 L / 100km). A Prius they're not, but neither are they 6000lb / 16mpg Hummer H3s or 6,600lb / 20mpg Ford Expeditions. I remember once seeing a Jeep Cherokee beside the discontinued Ford Excursion (9,200lbs / 12mpg) and thinking that by removing the wheels the Cherokee could probably fit in the back of the Excursion.

  12. We're all in it together

    I wonder

    Whether any owners of the City Rover have purchased 7's for their sat nav?

    Not that I would wish to promote any kind of fraud but I reckon we may see a string of fires in the following vehicles:-

    Austin Allegro

    Lada Niva / Riva

    Morris Ital

    Ssangyong badlydsigned (the one with the rear end bolted on...)

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: I wonder

      > Austin Allegro

      I learnt to drive in one of these. Driving instructor[1] reckoned that if you could drive one of those well then you could drive anything well..

      [1] Smoked like a chimney[2] all during the lessons. Had a very high pass rate though..

      [2] This was the early 80's. That sort of thing wasn't discouraged then..

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Austin Allegro

        Only car with a better drag coefficient when driving in reverse...

        BTW, a lot of delightful Austin Allegro references in the NCD/Jack Spratt novels by Jasper Fforde.

    2. Captain Queeg

      Re: I wonder

      More to the point, any Vauxhall Zafira owners.

      Talk about taking a punt. :-)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Were the remains of the alleged Samsung note 7 been found or is it his way of getting the insurance or even an attempt to shake down Samsung?

  14. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    And nothing of value was lost..

    (See title)

  15. SpammFreeEmail

    To anyone who's a fan of the old classic 'Married with Children'.

    "......and what did you have in the car when it caught fire Mr Bundy?"

    "Well, there was my Monet, twenty five thousand dollars in cash, original IBM bearer bonds now worth about four million dollars and of course a special commissioned Faberge Egg made of exclusively flammable materials....."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Lmg-NHPeEU

    Having lived in Florida for a couple of years in my personal experience the type of people who wear "Don't tread on me" shirts are quite often informationally challenged as a life choice.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One defective product kills another

    There is a wonderful symmetry in that (see title)

    Very glad no one was hurt.

  17. tom dial Silver badge

    I am a bit skeptical about this report. It is my impression that auxiliary power ports in automotive vehicles provided power only with the ignition on or in the auxiliary position, and I confirmed that toe be true of my two - a Honda and a Toyota. The Jeep Grand Cherokee might be different, of course, but if not it appears we are asked to believe the owner left the key in the ignition lock and the car running or on auxiliary. That seems a bit unusual, and very likely to risk theft of the vehicle.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      I believe that mine supplies power (until it decides the battery might be a bit low) if the vehicle is unlocked but the key is not in the vehicle.

      It shuts it down when locked.

      So perhaps the key was not in the ignition but the vehicle was unlocked?

      And the phablet on display...

      Something about that seems foolish. Can't quite put my finger on it.

    2. Leeroy

      Half decent cars

      Every car I have driven made in the last 10 years cuts power to the sockets if the car is locked or if the ignition key is removed. Quite sensible I think, I would rather have a flat phone battery than a flat car battery etc.

      Besides leaving expensive electronic equipment on charge in the sun, especially a car anywhere remotely warm is asking for trouble. Do you know how hot it gets in there before the phone blows up !

      Also the Samsung issue has been reported by the BBC quite a lot over here. The only tech news with more air time is the lack of 35mm (seriously they said that on air) headphone socket :/

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Power outlets

      Jeeps and other Fiat-Chrysler vehicles have 2 (or more) power outlets--one in the dash that is controlled by the ignition or accessory power and one in the center console that is hot all the time. I think a lot of other manufacturers have a similar configuration.

      Jeeps may not be the epitome of reliability, but they're a damn sight more reliable than Rovers, yet cheaper and just as capable.

    4. kain preacher

      Most American made cars will power the aux with the care powered off.

    5. cray74

      I am a bit skeptical about this report. It is my impression that auxiliary power ports in automotive vehicles provided power only with the ignition on or in the auxiliary position,

      While unloading the boot, Florida Man left the Jeep running to a) keep the interior cool, and b) charge his phone because the family planned to immediately head out on more errands.

      Even though Florida was having a bit of a cold wave (it was scarcely 90F / 32C and 70% RH on September 7th in St. Petersburg), leaving the car running while temporarily parked at home is not an unusual Floridian practice. They were planning on taking the family dog to a pet store (for a trim or checkup) and allowing the car to heat up would've been unnecessarily rough on the pet.

      I spent $2,000 on an option package for my car just to get the remote start function. I leave the AC cranked high in the morning and start the car when I reach the edge of the acres-large company parking lot. The interior is only miserable, not agonizing, when I reach it. Worth every penny.

  18. Martin Maloney
    Trollface

    Feeling reassured...or not...

    "The Korean electronics giant says it will replace all of the recalled units with new phones less prone to spontaneous combustion..."

    "Less prone?" How does one quantify that? "Our replacements are XX% less prone to spontaneous combustion?"

    I can see the ad campaign now:

    The New Samsung Galaxy Note 7 -- The Less Prone Phone

  19. King Jack
    Trollface

    He should have removed the battery...

    Oh, wait...

  20. John Savard Silver badge

    Puzzled

    It's hard for me to believe that a smartphone, even if it catches fire or explodes, could do all that much damage to a car by itself. It seems to me that it must have ignited something else that was flammable; possibly the seats were stuffed with something that produced energy when ignited... or there could have been gasoline fumes in the passenger compartment.

    I mean, really: if smartphone batteries contained that much energy, you wouldn't have to recharge your smartphone so often.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Puzzled

      See any of the many videos of batteries going up in flames. They most certainly can start a fire.

      With some of the bigger batteries, such as used for these electronic racing cars, you don't want to be anywhere near them when they go funny flamey.

    2. Steve Knox

      Re: Puzzled

      I mean, really: if smartphone batteries contained that much energy, you wouldn't have to recharge your smartphone so often.

      If you were aware of all of the things your smartphone did, you'd be amazed that the batteries contain so little energy.

      1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Puzzled

        "I mean, really: if smartphone batteries contained that much energy, you wouldn't have to recharge your smartphone so often."

        Lithium-ion batteries contain pretty much the same chemical energy density of an equivalent amount of TNT. (I won't provide a source, but you can Google it) They obviously can't release all that energy as quickly as TNT, but in the case of the Note 7, they are working on licking that problem :)

        Of course it's possible that a peanut butter sandwich contains the same amount of energy too, but fortunately peanut butter isn't known for spontaneous combustion.

  21. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Parked Cars Get Hot

    Particularly in Florida. So charging a Li-ion battey in one is just asking for thermal runaway.

  22. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    Notification of recall?

    I have had a couple of cars recalled over the years for various things. The auto makers are required to track you down and notify you for any safety recall. I had a car recalled because the driver's seat back can break and become loose. This would be more of an annoyance than a serious safety issue, but I was notified and it was fixed nonetheless. And I was the 3rd owner of the car.

    There have been enough of these battery explosions with property damage and probably some injuries that the cell phone manufacturer and/or reseller or service provider should have a responsibility to notify their customers of a serious safety hazard. It's probably a toss up as to whether more people have been injured by defective airbags in the recent Takata recall or exploding LI batteries. (though no deaths that I know of with batteries) Not everyone pays attention to the news 24/7, and all it would take would be someone plugging in one of these and going to sleep for a tragedy to occur. You don't expect mayhem when just recharging a battery, and most consumers don't realize how much energy is packed into one of these little batteries to let you use your tiny supercomputer all day long with no interruption. I don't like to leave anything charging while I'm away.

    If battery technology keeps improving in terms of energy density, I picture a lot more events similar to the "phaser on overload" scenario from Star Trek.

  23. Agent Tick

    Why are vehicles...

    .. not generally build with fire retardant/resistant materials? I know it's a Jeep but others any better?!

  24. kain preacher

    Mission impossible

    This phone will self destruct.

  25. Hans 1

    Is that the bloke who speaks 9 languages ?

    There are ads every now and then across the interwebs where a guy is said to be able to speak 9 languages, both guyz look terribly similar ... or maybe, just maybe, that's the look of average Joe public in the US (scary) ... get yourself a trimmer and a shaver, mate, they do not combust!

  26. paulc

    Car interiors get hot in the sun...

    batteries don't like heat...

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021