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Galaxy S III spontaneous combustion: battery swells, melts casing while charged

Galaxy S III spontaneous combustion: battery swells, melts casing while charged
Spontaneous combustion of Li-ion batteries has been documented in quite a few cases already - if the batteries weren't flammable under some circumstances, like using unauthorized chargers, Tesla Motors wouldn't need dedicated cooling for its electric car battery system that consists of thousands of such battery cells.

We've reported such cases where allegedly a cell phone battery just catches on fire, and now we have the next in line - a Samsung Galaxy S III, whose owner claims that the handset went ablaze while being charged on the bed next to him at night. Not a pleasant experience by any means, and the owner took to the usual ranting place, Reddit, uploading some pictures of the incident you can see below. Here's his recap of the story:

Last night at about 3:15am EST (about 1 hour after i plugged it in and went to sleep) I was awoken by a loud noise and a weird squeaking sound. (I charge my phone while I'm sleeping on my bed right next to me)

So, I woke up, and saw a ton of smoke coming out of my phone -- it also smelled REALLY bad. Half asleep, I jumped out of bed and turned the light on, only to see that my phone was just beginning to go on fire. I dumped a glass of water I had in the room on it to stop it from burning...then woke up my brother to come help. The smoke smelled so bad and wafted through the entire second floor of my house. I had a foam mattress pillow top that had a hole burned through it too--which we later threw out because it was still burning throughout. Also, some of the plastic on my phone was melting and kind of shooting out of it, and some landed on my pinky finger and burned some skin off (very small burn though).

Does anyone have any suggestions what I should do? Call Verizon? Samsung? Have a lawyer call them? I'd also like to get some type of replacement phone in the meantime...

ALSO: To answer many questions: EVERYTHING was stock/Samsung that I had received when I purchased my phone. Stock battery, charger, etc. Additionally, my phone was NOT rooted.

source: Reddit

95 Comments
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posted on 28 May 2013, 06:39 8

14. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1488; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


S-"Boomsound"

posted on 28 May 2013, 05:53 16

1. ashisharbola (Posts: 62; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


It's not a good thing to charge your phone while sleeping

posted on 28 May 2013, 06:00 28

6. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)


That's what most people do. It will be fully charged by next morning. There is no such thing as 'overcharging' nowadays; many of my phones (higher end models) are USBed to a computer or sits on the wireless charging stand when not in use, regardless of how much battery is left. The oldest one is near 3 years old and no signs of battery issues yet.

If you charge by USB/wirelessly instead of AC power (though it takes longer) then such issues are less likely to occur. If you use AC wall charger then you should only buy original ones, not 3rd party chargers.

posted on 28 May 2013, 06:29 14

11. ashisharbola (Posts: 62; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


it's a waste of electricity and effect life of a battery if you overcharged

posted on 28 May 2013, 06:50 35

18. FlushGordon (unregistered)


Lithium Polymer batteries CANNOT be overcharged, it just switches off the moment they are fully charged, it is not freaking possible!!!!...They are perfectly safe with no memory effect on the battery or whatsoever unlike Nickel Cadmiums

what are you living in the 90's or something?

posted on 28 May 2013, 07:11 5

21. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)


LOL, Li ion battery cannot be overcharged, and saving electricity is the last thing on my mind; these stuff consume a mere few bucks of electricity a month (it's easy to calculate using the tariff). You should worry more about refrigerators, air conditioners, water heaters etc.

Even 2 of my laptops run on AC 24/7, only shut down once a week. Only Custom Gaming PCs use a lot of power. Wireless chargers barely consumer any power when it is not charging a device. You need to update yourself, that is old school thinking.

posted on 28 May 2013, 07:16 8

23. polrt (banned) (Posts: 73; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)


I told you that Samsung's products are junk!

posted on 28 May 2013, 07:26 6

24. Planterz (Posts: 2110; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


Lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries CAN be over-charged, as well as over-discharged. THat is why all batteries that you see in commercial products (the exceptions being hobbies, like R/C vehicles or custom flashlights) have circuitry that prevent over-charging, over-discharging, and shorts. Cell phones, laptops, electric shavers, cordless power tools, etc.

But like any mass-produced product, nothing is 100%, and occasionally defective products slip through QC. Remember those laptops that were catching fire a few years back? Bad batch of battery circuitry that should have prevented over-charging/discharging.

posted on 28 May 2013, 07:29 13

27. darkkjedii (Posts: 23590; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Your very correct

posted on 28 May 2013, 07:32 7

28. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


The plastic build wasn't a dead give away?

posted on 28 May 2013, 07:33 13

29. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


S-plode

posted on 28 May 2013, 07:34 4

30. moroninc (Posts: 193; Member since: 14 Jul 2012)


i had the same issue.. only my battery started swelling while i charged it overnight, replaced it. dont have the same problem anymore i just dont it charge overnight

posted on 28 May 2013, 07:53 2

32. mafiaprinc3 (Posts: 573; Member since: 07 May 2012)


yeah and manufacturing defect never occurs,on paper it shouldn't have happend but this is the real worldT where sh$t happens

posted on 28 May 2013, 08:14 20

33. Slammer (Posts: 1515; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


Give it a rest kid. I've used polycarbonate phones for over 27 years and never once had a problem with the build. I think you're just ignorant to facts and only repeating quotes that Steve Jobs tried to cram down your throat.

As a service technician for 32 years, MSM has many advantages over cheap metal(Aluminum). Don't fool yourself with rhetoric given by a guy that just wanted to mind shape tour beliefs.

Batteries haven't changed that much over the years. They are prone to damage caused by excessive heat and they expand. Aluminum is a super conductor of heat. Let's see what happens when the iPhone5(released during the cooler season), and the HTC One are exposed to the hotter ambient temperatures this summer.

John B.

posted on 28 May 2013, 08:21 1

35. ashisharbola (Posts: 62; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


Thanx for the information don't know that

posted on 28 May 2013, 08:41

41. ashisharbola (Posts: 62; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


by the way can you give me some links to give weigh to your statement because i haven't find anything about it

posted on 28 May 2013, 09:58 3

46. chocolaking (Posts: 494; Member since: 22 May 2012)


Holy matha fxking S3 sucks I told you!!!!
why didn't you listen to me and still buy such a piece of garbage. You are just as dumb as like my gf.

I wanna see how much is samsung gonna offer to ease this incident off.

posted on 28 May 2013, 10:17 2

48. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


You sound like a cranky old gramps remembering his old war days.

I am not ignorant of anything. Apple nor Jobs ever pointed a gun to my head and forced me to use the iPhone.

posted on 28 May 2013, 10:33 1

50. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


ohh grow up you waste of space and air!

posted on 28 May 2013, 10:34 12

52. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


no they just brainwashed you and shipped you to a field where you can happily graze with the rest of your apple heard! Baaaaaaaaaaaa

posted on 28 May 2013, 10:35 1

53. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


lol are you a woman beater?

posted on 28 May 2013, 10:46 2

57. MCrapp (Posts: 318; Member since: 07 Apr 2013)


No She have a girlfriend!

posted on 28 May 2013, 11:02 7

58. Slammer (Posts: 1515; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


While I am a grandfather, I'm not cranky. I merely get tired of your arrogance and constant rage against a material you evidently know nothing about. You emulate a parrot with no informative argument to back it. This gives us the impression that you have indeed, been brainwashed by savvy marketing of Apple. I'm calling you out on it. If you can intelligently debate me on why you "think" aluminum is more than just an aesthetic advantage for phones, I would be glad to stand down on your posts. Otherwise, quit sounding like a precocious Steve Jobs that doesn't believe in a material that is highly used in 96% of all products in all industries. It really doesn't validate your argument because I know you own a great deal of products that implement plastic.

As I stated, I'm a service technician. I'm not here to win friends. I like to learn as well as instruct. It would be wise to understand my position in belief rather than getting defensive over constructive criticism and overly passionate about a product you won't own for more than two years.

John B.

posted on 28 May 2013, 11:13 3

59. andynaija (Posts: 943; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)


Have cellphones been around that long 27 years?

posted on 28 May 2013, 11:26 1

60. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


what dafuq now im confused LOL!

posted on 28 May 2013, 11:39 6

61. tech2 (Posts: 3487; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


XD..........funny how the conversation started on phone charger and ended on someone having no girlfriend !!! LMFAO

posted on 28 May 2013, 11:42 2

63. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


I don't think cavemen had cellphones.

posted on 28 May 2013, 11:44 2

64. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


Same can be said for the Andrones who repeat the same insults over and over.

posted on 28 May 2013, 11:44 6

65. lovefist (unregistered)


nah they didn't point it to your head, they pointed it to your mouth and you happily opened it and enjoyed jobs' c*m.

oh, insulting granddads now? how low can you get for apple huh. i bet really low on your knees ^_^

posted on 28 May 2013, 11:49 2

66. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


You talk about an intelligent debate and yet here you are calling me a mindless apple drone. How dare I want my phone to feel premium and not a cheap piece of plastic.

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