Samsung has come under fire for a potentially lethal fault in its Galaxy S4 phones that has seen 20 of the devices catch fire.
The fault is caused by an defect in the Lithium-ion batteries powering the Galaxy S4. Scallex – the sole importer of Samsung products to Israel – has identified thousands of phones whose batteries are affected by the defect and have swollen, although only 20 are said to have ignited.
News of the issue first broke in the Yedioth Aronath newspaper. In a statement made to the Tel Aviv stock exchange, Scaliex stated the issue only affects devices produced before January 2014. There are no reports of the fault affecting customers outside of Israel.
Samsung has stated it “operates according to the highest quality and safety standards”, with the defect not posing a danger to consumers. It is reportedly working with phone operators to resolve the problem.
Manufacturer Samsung has been offering replacement batteries for customers affected, regardless of the warranty status. It is also undertaking an independent inquiry into the defective batteries.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 was launched in March, 2013. The device was one of the fastest selling in Samsung’s history, with over 20 million units sold worldwide.