Samsung halts sales of Galaxy Note 7 and tells owners to stop using device

The announcement comes after replacement devices began exploding and catching fire

The tech giant tells all customers who are using an original or replaced Note 7 to power down and stop using their device immediately

Samsung has halted sales of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone and advised users to stop using the devices following new reports of the new model exploding and catching fire.

The tech giant had been in the process of providing replacements of 2.5 million handsets after dozens around the world had unexpectedly blown up.

But reports followed of some replacement devices having similar issues. In one instance a replacement phone exploded on a plane, leading to the evacuation of the flight, and just days later another caught fire in Kentucky.

Samsung had already announced it had "paused" the output of the new phone following the reports. But now the company has halted production and told all customers who are using an original or replaced Note 7 to power down and stop using their device immediately.

All global partners of the company have also been asked to halt sales and exchanges while the technology giant investigates the latest claims. Two of the biggest US networks, AT&T and T-Mobile, had already made the decision to stop replacing or selling the device.

"We are working with relevant regulatory bodies to investigate the recently reported cases involving the Galaxy Note7," Samsung said in a statement on its website.

"Because consumers’ safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note7 while the investigation is taking place.

"We remain committed to working diligently with appropriate regulatory authorities to take all necessary steps to resolve the situation. Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note7 or replacement Galaxy Note7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available."

The problems began last month within weeks after the Note 7 was released, when multiple users reported the phones had spontaneously blown up.

Officials from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission say they are in the process of investigating five recent incidents of fire and overheating.

Elliot Kaye, who chairs the commission, reportedly said Samsung's decision to halt all sales was “the right move” in light of the ongoing safety issues.