Samsung has urged owners of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to stop using the devices while a recall is being worked out. The warning comes a week after Samsung announced a voluntary recall of 2.5 million phones worldwide because a battery problem is believed to have affected 0.1 per cent of all devices.

Two weeks after its debut, Samsung recalled and suspended its sales. Several units were said to have exploded while charging. There were reported cases of the lithium-ion batteries in certain Note7 devices resulting in fires.

In a statement, the South Korean tech giant said there had been 35 reported cases of phones with “a battery cell issue”, adding that it would replace devices that had already been sold.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers who have Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones to “power them down and stop charging or using” them.

“When these batteries overheat and burst, the results can be dangerous,” the CPSC said in its statement. “These incidents have occurred while charging and during normal use, which has led us to call for consumers to power down their Note7s.”

“CPSC is working quickly to determine whether a replacement Galaxy Note7 is an acceptable remedy for Samsung or their phone carriers to provide to consumers.”

Samsung asked owners of the smartphones to exchange them for a loaner phone. “New Note7 replacement devices will be issued to exchange program participants upon completion of the CPSC process. In the interim, consumers can return their Note7 for another device,” said Tim Baxter, the president of Samsung Electronics America.

“Our collaboration with the CPSC, carrier partners and via our own communication channels is aimed at ensuring all Note7 users are aware of the issue and understand their options.”

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines (SIA) today joined other airlines in banning the inflight use of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 phones.

“The powering up and charging of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 mobile phones is prohibited on all our flights,” SIA said in a statement.

Qantas, Virgin Australia and Etihad have also announced similar bans. US and Japanese aviation authorities have urged passengers not to turn on or charge the large-screen phones on aircraft.

A Florida man says his Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone exploded inside his car and ignited a fire that destroyed the vehicle.

His story is said to have been verified. However, there are other unsubstantiated claims of similar incidents.

One of them was posted on Reddit. “I live in Tustin, CA and was charging my Note 7 in my car. I was driving on the (Interstate) 405 and suddenly, I saw my phone was on fire. I was luckily able to pull over to the side and get out. However, I burned my left arm before and had to go to the hospital. But it could have been a lot worse,” said Bluegirl99, who added that only 30 seconds after she got out of the car, it exploded.

However, a news check on many different websites doesn’t reveal any story about a car blowing up on the 405 that afternoon. –