Fitbit has issued a recall for about 1.7 million smartwatches due to issues that may cause the device to overheat and burn its users. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said Wednesday that the recall involves the company's Fitbit Ionic smartwatch models.
The CPSC said the lithium-ion batteries on the smartwatch could pose a burning hazard to consumers. The recall order affects around 1 million devices sold in the U.S. and around 693,000 devices sold in other markets.
The recall order was made after several reports emerged of consumers being burned by overheating smartwatches. The CPSC said Fitbit had received a total of 174 incident reports prior to agreeing to a voluntary recall of its products. About 78 out of the 174 reports were from consumers in the U.S. Two of the reports involved consumers suffering third-degree burns and four reports of second-degree burns.
Fitbit representative, Andrea Holing, confirmed the recall order. She added that the incidents of overheating batteries only affected about 0.01% of the units the company had sold worldwide.
The company reportedly already conducted a thorough investigation into the matter and found that the defects only affected "very limited" units. The defective units were mostly sold in stores such as Kohl's, Target, Best Buy, and in major online outlets from September 2017 to December 2021.
Fitbit stopped producing the Ionic smartwatches in 2020. The unit has three buttons and a colored LCD. Customers can identify the model from a number in the back, labeled FB503.
Holing said Fitbit always places its customer's safety as its top priority. She said that even if the defects only affected a small portion of the products it had sold, the company still wanted to take an abundance of caution and issued the voluntary recall. Holing noted that incidents of customers getting burned by the devices is very rare and it does not affect any other Fitbit models sold worldwide.
In its recall order, the Google-owned company called on customers who own its Ionic smartwatch to immediately stop using the device. Customers who own the watch can return the device to any Fitbit outlet and get a refund of $299. Apart from the refund, affected customers will also be getting a 40% discount coupon that can be used towards select Fitbit devices.
Google acquired Fitbit in late 2019 for $2.1 billion. The acquisition was part of Google's efforts to compete in the growing smartwatch markets, which was dominated by Apple.