CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - The family of a Charlotte teen is calling Samsung's investigation an insult after the company seemingly blamed the 14-year-old girl when her smartphone caught fire in the middle of the night.
The company analyzed the J7 Prime phone and attributed the fire to "an excessive external force."
"We cannot speculate on the circumstances surrounding the external force that was involved in this incident," a spokesperson said.
The girl's mom, Janice Shirley, says the company's findings are "getting on my nerves."
"I think they're trying to put the blame off on someone else," said Shirley.
She says the phone was only a few months old and insists her daughter, Asia, didn't tamper with it in any way saying "she loves being on the cell phone."
"Like that's all we have to do is run around and mess with phones and make them catch on fire?," said Shirley. "No. We're better people than that. My child is a better person than that."
Technology expert Tom Jelneck is also skeptical of Samsung's findings.
"Honestly, I have a hard time wrapping my head around this being 'excessive force,'" said Jelneck. "You would need to have a vice, essentially, and really compact this thing. And, or, drop it from a 10-story building to make that type of an impact [to cause the battery to catch fire]...It would take a lot of force to make that battery explode in my humble opinion."
Samsung officials tell FOX 46 they "conducted a thorough analysis" of Shirley's phone and found "no evidence of a defect." The company could not find evidence this incident was the result of a charger, either, a spokesperson said.
The company says it stands behind the safety of its products.
This incident, which FOX 46 first reported last November, comes more than a year after Samsung was forced to recall millions of Galaxy Note 7's because its lithium ion batteries could overheat and catch fire. The phones were banned on all U.S. flights. Last year, when FOX 46 found at least three other similar cases involving the J7, including a report where the phone caught fire mid-air on a Jet Airways flight in India.
For the family, there is one bright spot.
FOX 46 is getting results for Shirley's daughter. The fire melted Asia's annual pass to Carowinds. After contacting the theme park, Carowinds offered to give Asia a new 2018 annual pass for free.
"I thank you for reaching out...I appreciate that," said Shirley. "I think that was good...that was nice of you. Thank you!"
Read Samsung's full statements:
"After retrieving the Shirley family's phone, Samsung conducted a thorough analysis of the device and found no evidence of a defect that caused the device to malfunction. In addition, our analysis found no evidence that the incident was caused by charging the device. We cannot speculate on the circumstances surrounding the external force that was involved in this incident."
"We stand behind the quality and safety of our products. We have reached out to the Shirley family and resolved the matter to their satisfaction. Based on our investigation, including testing of the device, we have concluded that the device did no malfunction. Our analysis shows that an excessive external force caused damage to the device. Any customers with questions about Samsung products should contact us directly at 1-800-SAMSUNG."