Samsung says it's halting sales of the ill-starred Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after a spate of fires involving new devices that were supposed to be safe replacements for recalled models. The company ordered the suspension of sales Tuesday on the recommendation of South Korean safety officials, who say they suspect a new defect in the replacement phones that may not be related to its batteries. "We would have not taken this measure if it had looked like the problems could be easily resolved," Oh Yu-cheon, a senior official at the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards, tells the AP. The agency, which oversees recalls, is urging consumers not to use the phones.
Last month, Samsung issued a global recall. It blamed a tiny manufacturing error in the battery that it said made the phones prone to catch fire. Oh says the investigators are studying a different defect from the one Samsung said it had found in the first batch of Galaxy Note 7's. "The improved product does not have the same defect. That's why we think there is a new defect," he says. Samsung says consumers with original Note 7 devices or replacements they obtained after the recall should turn them off and seek a refund or exchange them for different phones. (Read more Samsung stories.)