Samsung has urged owners of the Galaxy Note 7 to turn off its high-end smartphone while it investigates new reports of the device catching fire.
The South Korean tech giant also said it would stop all sales of the phone.
The company recalled 2.5 million phones in September after complaints of exploding batteries, and later insisted that all replaced devices were safe.
However, there are now reports that even those phones were catching fire.
A man in Kentucky said he woke up to a bedroom full of smoke from a replaced Note 7, days after a domestic flight in the US was evacuated after a new device started emitting smoke in the cabin.
Samsung said: “Because consumers’ safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 while the investigation is taking place.
“Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note 7 or replacement Galaxy Note 7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available.”
On October 10, a Samsung spokeswoman insisted the phones were safe to use.
South Korean media reports suggest Samsung is likely to stop selling the phone permanently.
However, South Korea’s finance minister has warned that the country’s exports would be hurt if the Note 7 model is scrapped altogether.
“Right now we can’t tell what the impact will be in the long term. It’s up to the company and the government cannot interfere,” said Yoo Il-ho.
“But if they do scrap the model, it will have a negative impact on exports.”
The US consumer protection agency has also urged people not to use their Samsung replacement devices.
“No one should have to be concerned their phone will endanger them, their family or their property,” Elliot Kaye, chairman of the safety commission, said.
He called Samsung’s decision to stop distributing the device “the right move” in light of “ongoing safety concerns”.
On October 11, the South Korean transport ministry said people should not use or charge their Galaxy Note 7 devices on a plane.
The original Galaxy Note 7 had already been banned by numerous aviation authorities and airlines around the world.
Samsung has reportedly stopped production of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone amid claims that replacement devices still have critical battery issues.
Reuters and Yonhap cited unnamed officials claiming Samsung had temporarily halted its Galaxy Note 7 production lines.
The move came as two the AT&T and T-Mobile networks stopped replacing or selling the Note 7.
On October 3, Samsung said it would also stagger shipments of the Note 7 to conduct in-depth inspections.
The South Korean tech giant issued a recall of the Galaxy Note 7 in September and assured customers last month that the fixed devices were safe.
However, there have now been several reports of replacement phones starting to emit smoke.
It comes after the AT&T and T-Mobile networks in the US said they would no longer replace the devices, while the latter said it would halt all sales of the phone.
“While Samsung investigates multiple reports of issues, T-Mobile is temporarily suspending all sales of the new Note 7 and exchanges for replacement Note 7 devices,” T-Mobile said on its website.
Meanwhile, AT&T said: “We’re no longer exchanging new Note 7s at this time, pending further investigation of these reported incidents.”
It advised customers to exchange them for other devices.
Samsung said in a statement last month that the issue of overheating was caused by a “rare” manufacturing error that resulted in the battery’s “anode-to-cathode [negative and positive electrodes]” coming into contact.
But last week, a domestic flight in the US was evacuated after a replacement Note 7 started emitting smoke in the cabin. And a man in Kentucky reportedly woke up to a bedroom full of smoke from a replaced Note 7.
In an update on October 9, Samsung said it understood the concerns of carriers and consumers about the newly released replacement Note 7 devices.
“We continue to move quickly to investigate the reported case to determine the cause and will share findings as soon as possible,” Samsung said.
“If we conclude a product safety issue exists, we will work with the CPSC (US Consumer Product Safety Commission) to take immediate steps to address the situation.”