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

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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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, 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, 07:29 13

27. darkkjedii (Posts: 12618; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Your very correct

posted on 28 May 2013, 07:53 2

32. mafiaprinc3 (Posts: 357; 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, 08:21 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, 14:29

82. b1acktiger (Posts: 210; Member since: 19 May 2012)


You're right Lithium Polymer batteries wont over charge, Galaxy S3 is using Lithium Ion batteries. You're taking this news away some where.

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, 07:26 6

24. Planterz (Posts: 1080; 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, 07:16 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, 07:32 7

28. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4165; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


The plastic build wasn't a dead give away?

posted on 28 May 2013, 08:14 20

33. Slammer (Posts: 1125; 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, 10:17 2

48. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4165; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


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, 10:34 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, 11:44 2

64. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4165; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


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

posted on 28 May 2013, 11:57 2

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


how are we brainwashed.....being right isnt brainwashed lol ......and btw i dont eat grass you do theres the difference!

posted on 28 May 2013, 14:05 2

76. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4165; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


You need better material. You're just recycling your insults.

posted on 28 May 2013, 15:14 4

85. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


What a great insult, and humiliating!
+1 Whoyton1

Dosen't Mxzyptlk have any self respect?
You are pathetic and a big disgrace to society and humans.

®

posted on 28 May 2013, 11:02 7

58. Slammer (Posts: 1125; 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, 11:49 2

66. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4165; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


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.

posted on 28 May 2013, 11:58 2

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


buy a htc one then.....its simple android has choices apple has none....

posted on 28 May 2013, 14:05 2

77. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4165; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Apple isn't forcing anyone to use their devices.

posted on 28 May 2013, 12:09 2

72. Slammer (Posts: 1125; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


---" If you can intelligently debate me on why you "think" aluminum is more than just an aesthetic advantage for phones"---

My above statement refers to aesthetics. You not liking a phone that feels cheap, is under this catagory yet, still doesn't resolve the "Actual" durability of said material.

Aluminum is made of certain elements that make it "unstable". Aluminum is extremely fragile to impact and is not very tolerable to enviromental conditions within our atmosphere and body content. Salt is very corrosive to Aluminum and guess how much salt content is in our body? Holding an Aluminum "Premium feeling" phone with bare hands over a lengthy time, will cause pitting, tarnishing and discoloring. Aluminum also excels at conducting heat such as from the sun. Imagine what this does to the inside components. The answer is to cover your "premium feeling" phone in a case just like most of us non-aluminum phone people do. It sort of defeats the purpose now of owning an aluminum, premium feel product...doesn't it?

John B.

posted on 28 May 2013, 14:09 2

79. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4165; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


You really think plastic is more durable? Lol you obviously must have not heard of the build issues people are reporting with the new Galaxy phone. Either that or you're choosing to turn a blind eye to it. It's there whether you want to admit it or not.

No one said the phone had to be made out of aluminum. The iPhone 4 and 4S weren't made out of aluminum.

Stop making excuses here.

posted on 28 May 2013, 16:44

88. iami67 (Posts: 318; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Wow Mxyzptlk you are the bigest idiot in the world. Did you really just compare the build quality of the s3 or s4 to the iphone 4 or 5 and say the iphone is better. The iphone is cheap glass one drop it shatters. making the iphone all glass is the dumbest thing apple ever did and the biggest complaint every customer except maybe you cause your an idiot has. every iphone sold it is practically mandatory to buy a 50 dollar case to protected. On a s3 or s4 the case is option and still would take harder

posted on 28 May 2013, 17:35

91. Slammer (Posts: 1125; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


In many applications, MPM serves as a better choice for the basis of build. If you are on a football team, would you rather have aluminum or polycarbonate to protect your head? Helmuts made of polycarbonate are made to withstand impact better than Aluminum. Hence why they use it and why it is better for something that is held and can easily fall out of the hands. Cheap feeling vs being cheap are two different things. But, we need to take this at a different level. Aluminum for phones would be a good choice "IF" it was used properly to protect not only the inner components that are adherent to the vulnerability of heat, but also to protect consumer interest in servicing the handset at reasonable cost. Neither one of these factors have been applied in building current phones. The iphone5 is easily the most expensive handset for customers to repair because Apple has successfully gotten consumers to forget about accessibily of parts. Being in the service business for as long as I have, companies make a ton of money on parts and labor. Since Apple has perfected the art of making money, their motive is to not only sell as many of their products as possible, but to also make it so myxzptik has to warrant a trip to the service department if the handset fails even if it is for something as simple as a battery.

You cannot ignore this logic even if you dislike my beliefs. It is a serviceman's point of view and one that cares for consumer advocacy. Battery accessibility is logic that has always worked. I would not be as opposed to aluminum if used in a way to placate the consumer rather than exploiting dollars for nonsense.

John B.

posted on 03 Jun 2013, 21:31

95. axbog (Posts: 21; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)


I have owned mostly metal phones in the past years. Just because I like them and how they feel. I have yet to experience issues that you described. I can only assume that you make this statements based on wikipedia like facts about aluminium. For example, I still have my HTC Legend. One of the first phones (if not the 1st) with an aluminium unibody. I keep it as a backup phone. Still works perfectly, no problems from the "salt", no sun induced "heatstroke" to the inside components, still looks great despite drops and kicks. Your arguments, tough correct from a certain point of view, do not apply. And I'm not an expert, but regarding the heat conductivity of the aluminium, I think this is the reason why it would do better under heat compared to plastic, and not vice-versa. Mind you, most cases of phones overheating come from inside the phone, which means metal one should cope better, because the heat dissipation. Etc..

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, 14:06 2

78. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4165; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


That was so pathetic.

posted on 28 May 2013, 15:20 2

86. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


You are pathetic to this world, and humans living around us. Like he said, you do not belong in society.!

®

posted on 28 May 2013, 11:13 3

59. andynaija (Posts: 485; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)


Have cellphones been around that long 27 years?

posted on 28 May 2013, 11:42 2

63. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4165; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


I don't think cavemen had cellphones.

posted on 28 May 2013, 11:50 3

67. Slammer (Posts: 1125; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


Mobile phones were around before cellphones. Cellphones have been around since 1973 but commercially since '83. I remember watching detective shows in the early seventies like Vegas and Quinn-Martin productions such as Cannon, McMillan and Wife, etc. Props used would be "Mobile" phones based on then, MTS technology.

I always wanted a phone in my car ever since and purchased my first in 1986. Cool as s**t but you didn't dare talk a lot as it cost close to $2 a minute.

John B.

posted on 28 May 2013, 14:11 2

80. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4165; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


This isn't History 101. Tech has advanced far from the big bulky primitive phones you had back in your dad pops.

Today we have devices that can use video chat off wifi and not even have to use minutes.

posted on 28 May 2013, 14:52 3

84. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


Mxyzptlk you should go see a psychologist.

posted on 28 May 2013, 15:23 3

87. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


To go see animal Doctor, not the psy...

posted on 28 May 2013, 18:27

92. Slammer (Posts: 1125; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


Maybe if you studied the history of mobile phones, you would better understand the reasoning behind the aspect of plastic being used on a phone. It's not rocket science and it doesn't take a genius. It just requires common sense. If you actually used one of these phones that us "Old people" used then, you might appreciate the build quality that plastic provided for these phones for many years without issue. I still have my original brick phone that took a beating. It still works. Too bad it can't be used on digital technology.

John B.

posted on 30 May 2013, 11:04

94. andynaija (Posts: 485; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)


Can't you just shut up because you always have something to say that is stupid you ugly a$$ wizard demon

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, 09:58 3

46. chocolaking (Posts: 461; 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, 10:35 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: 312; Member since: 07 Apr 2013)


No She have a girlfriend!

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: 2443; 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, 11:58 1

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


hahahaah +1

posted on 28 May 2013, 21:37 1

93. mydi.maus (unregistered)


lol thats sad..

posted on 28 May 2013, 12:54

73. dragonstkdgirl (Posts: 144; Member since: 07 Apr 2012)


How the hell do you still HAVE a girlfriend if this is how you talk about her?

posted on 28 May 2013, 06:39 8

14. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1381; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


S-"Boomsound"

posted on 28 May 2013, 07:33 13

29. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 4165; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


S-plode

posted on 28 May 2013, 07:34 4

30. moroninc (Posts: 189; 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, 14:28 1

81. akki20892 (Posts: 3653; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


what if Nokia 3310......can't imagine

posted on 28 May 2013, 14:36

83. Larry_ThaGr81 (Posts: 295; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Really??? That's not the issue here.

posted on 28 May 2013, 05:55 14

2. PermanentHiatus (Posts: 267; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)


He used a 3rd party charger. Debunked.

posted on 28 May 2013, 06:58 11

20. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Yet he claimed that the charger was stock. lol

posted on 28 May 2013, 08:32 6

39. Igneel (unregistered)


How did you know that it's a 3rd party charger? I couldn't even get a detail of it. Enlighten me?

posted on 28 May 2013, 05:56 5

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


Just another QC case, nothing more. The same happened to my friend's iPhone 4S; the battery swelled and twisted the aluminium frame, cracking the screen. She got a replacement unit.

posted on 28 May 2013, 05:58 14

4. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Is that a 3rd party charger on the bed? Just look closely at the photo #2. If it is, it's the owner's fault.

Poor Galaxy S3.

posted on 28 May 2013, 06:02 8

7. tashreef (Posts: 476; Member since: 24 Nov 2012)


hahahha +1 LOL

He must be hiding somewhere..

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