Sprint has halted shipping new LG LX260 Rumor units to stores. The LG Rumor has a known issue where certain sets of key presses during startup can trigger a complete erasure of the phone’s firmware.
Sprint has isolated the issue to a specific debugging menu, intended for LG engineers to work on the device during development. Unfortunately, the menu is triggered by accessing the main menu, and/or dialing phone numbers. Sprint has not disclosed the specific code, to prevent abuse.
Clarification: The trigger is timed to function only at start up. To work around the issue, we suggest not pressing any buttons on the phone for at least 30 seconds after it has fully powered on.
The phone, once triggered, cannot be restored except at the factory. The debugging code even erases the portions of the firmware that would allow a Sprint Store to recover the device (requiring what is known in the industry as a JTAG restore, which can only be done at the LG factory or in a lab setting).
LG is working to fix the issue, by creating an updated firmware that removes the code from being accessible. Once that firmware is issued and approved, existing customers will be able to download the update over-the-air at no charge. Sprint intends to resume shipments of the LX260 Rumor to stores once devices can ship with the forthcoming update already installed.
This is the second phone in a row to need shipments halted from LG on Sprint. The LG LX160 had hardware-level issues preventing the speakerphone and caller ID display from working properly. Sprint halted shipments of the LX160 to stores until the issue could be resolved, and replaced phones for free, provided the Sprint Store had been properly informed of the silent recall.