Fitbit recalls 1.7M watches after burn hazard

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An American consumer electronics and fitness company, Fitbit, has recalled 1.7 million smartwatches after users reported burns when their batteries overheated.

People who bought the £225 Ionic watch with the model number FB503 should immediately stop using it and contact Fitbit to return it.

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Moreover, the company said that customers would receive full reimbursement and a discount of 40% from purchasing another Fitbit product. Fitbit received 115 reports of battery overheating in the U.S., with 78 reports of burn injuries, including 2 reports of third-degree burns and 4 claims of second-degree burns, according to the sources.

Approximately one million of the watches were sold in the USA, and 700,000 were sold throughout the world.

Furthermore, there were 40 reports of burn injuries internationally. Based in San Francisco, Fitbit introduced the Ionic watches in 2017 and stopped producing them in 2020.

Around 59 reports of battery overheating were reported internationally.

In addition, the recall was announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the United States. However, the recall only applies to the ‘Ionic line’ model, Fitbit said while issuing a statement.

A spokesperson for Google (GOOG)-owned Fitbit, Andrea Holing, confirmed the recall in a statement and said the number of injury reports represented less than 0.01% of units sold.

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“Fitbit’s main priority is always customer safety, and we’re undertaking a voluntary recall of Fitbit Ionic smartwatches out of an abundance of caution,” Holing said in a statement. “These incidents are very rare, and this voluntary recall does not impact other Fitbit smartwatches or trackers.”

In late 2019, Google announced plans to buy Fitbit for $2.1 billion in order to compete with Apple’s smartwatches. Last year, the acquisition was completed.

Fitbit also voluntarily recalled its Force gadget back in 2014 after some consumers reported an allergic reaction to nickel in the stainless steel case of the device.

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