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Samsung is sending mixed signals about what to do with the Galaxy Note 7

Samsung's troubles as it tries to recall millions of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones are continuing to stack up, and its advice for dealing with the phones just got a little more complicated.

The batteries in the smartphones have been known to explode and catch fire while charging. Now, Samsung is telling customers in South Korea to download a software patch to their phones, the Associated Press reports. The patch will keep the phone's battery from charging to more than 60 percent capacity.

It's not clear at the moment whether this patch will also be rolled out to U.S. customers.

Samsung told the Washington Post in a statement Tuesday that any steps it takes in the United States must be approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. "Samsung is continuing to work with the CPSC and our carrier partners to develop and evaluate solutions that are best for U.S. Note 7 owners," a Samsung spokeswoman said in the statement.

Samsung announced last week that it was working with the federal agency to formally issue a recall for the large-screen smartphone. Samsung previously started a voluntary replacement program in cooperation with major U.S. carriers. That opened it up to criticism from consumer advocates who said that a problem as serious as the one affecting the Note 7 should be handled formally by the government.

The release of a software patch seems to contradict the company's initial advice, which was to stop using the phones and to turn them off. Samsung hasn't offered details on how capping a Note 7's battery charge at 60 percent may reduce the risk of fire or explosion, or explained its confusing instructions. But the company may be releasing this patch to reach those who continue to use their phones despite being told to stop.

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