A Fitbit Ionic recall is underway due to reports of it burning users with Google offering a full $299 refund plus 40% off the purchase of a new Fitbit to owners. The recall of 1.7 million watches is a massive blow to the Google-owned Fitbit brand, but after multiple reports of burns caused by the watch's battery overheating, Google was left with little choice.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, worldwide there have been 174 reports of the battery overheating and burning users. There are 78 reports in the United States with two victims claiming to have suffered third-degree burns, while four victims reported second-degree burns (via Ars Technica)
Fitbit released this statement, "Customer safety is always Fitbit’s top priority and out of an abundance of caution, we are conducting a voluntary recall of Fitbit Ionic smartwatches. We received a very limited number of injury reports - the totals in the CPSC announcement represent less than 0.01% of units sold - of the battery in Fitbit Ionic smartwatches overheating, posing a burn hazard. These incidents are very rare and this voluntary recall does not impact other Fitbit smartwatches or trackers."
How to request your refund for the Fitbit Ionic
- Go to the Fitbit Ionic recall site
- Select your Country and State/Territory
- Click or tap on Register
- Complete the survey with your name, address and Fitbit account information
The CPSC advises owners to immediately stop using the Fitbit Ionic and initiate the recall process.
If you check the Fitbits FAQ page (opens in new tab), you can get all the details on the recall and refund process. Currently, Fitbit is offering a full refund of the $299 retail price and a coupon for 40% off the purchase of "select Fitbit devices." It's been suggested that it would be a good idea to wipe your personal data from the unit before you send it back. You can do so by going into the settings and choosing factory reset.
Fitbit has been a leader in the fitness wearables market for years, but this could be a major blow to the brand, which is still in the process of integrating with Google following the acquisition and faces increasing challenges from both Apple Watch and the resurging Wear OS.