There’s a new Fitbit recall to know: Fitbit has just voluntarily recalled more than one million of its Ionic smartwatches after reports that overheating lithium-ion batteries had resulted in burn injuries. “The battery in the Ionic smartwatch can overheat, posing a burn hazard,” Fitbit said in a statement on their site on Wednesday. “The health and safety of Fitbit users is our highest priority. We are taking this action out of an abundance of caution for our users.” According to the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the fitness electronics company has received at least 115 reports in the U.S. and 59 reports in other countries that involved users receiving second-degree and third-degree burns.
Second-degree burns are when the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) and the dermis (the second layer of skin) are affected, resulting in blisters, swelling, splotches, red or white discoloration, severe pain, and scarring, per the Mayo Clinic. Third-degree burns are more serious and can be life-threatening depending on the area involved. These denote a burn that has affected the fat layer underneath the skin, resulting in black, brown, or white burn areas, “leathery” skin, and destroyed nerves.
Fitbit’s statement instructs those who own a Fitbit Ionic to stop using their device. According to the brand, these reported cases accounted for less than 0.01% of the Ionic smartwatches sold. “These incidents are very rare and this voluntary recall does not impact other Fitbit smartwatches or trackers,” Fitbit said in a statement. The Ionic smartwatch has a 1.4-inch color LCD and monitors the user’s activity, heart rate, and sleep. Since its launch in September 2017, it has been a popular product. Of the recalled products, around one million were purchased in the United States and around 693,000 were purchased in other countries. The smartwatches were sold at stores operated by companies such as Kohl’s, Target, Amazon, and Fitbit.com between September 2017 and December 2021. If you purchased one of these recalled watches, you can return it to receive a full refund or you can visit Fitbit’s refund registration page. Fitbit also announced it will offer a 40% discount on future purchases for those who return their Ionic watches. If you’re having trouble determining whether your Fitbit is an Ionic, the model number (FB503) can be found on the back of the watch near the band’s attachment.
The company, which was acquired by Google for $2.1 billion in early 2021, has recalled other products in the past. In March 2014, Fitbit and CPSC recalled the Fitbit Force because some users experienced allergic reactions to the stainless steel case, strap materials, and adhesives used to assemble the product. There were 9,900 reports of skin irritation (in the form of redness or rashes) and 250 reports of blistering.