An attendant shows a Fitbit Inc. Ionic smartwatch for a photograph at the Wearable Expo in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. , Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Fitbit recalls Ionic smartwatches over burn hazard

by · BNN

Fitbit is voluntarily recalling its Ionic smartwatch following reports of burn injuries caused by the lithium-ion battery overheating, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

About 1 million of the watches, which track body metrics like heart rate, activity and sleep, were sold in the U.S. and 693,000 internationally since Fitbit introduced the Ionic in September 2017, according to the Commission. Fitbit, which is owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, is asking consumers to contact the company in order to ship back their devices and receive a US$299 refund and a discount on other Fitbit devices.

The Ionic smartwatch caused 118 reported burn injuries worldwide. Of the injuries in the U.S., there were two reports of third-degree burns and four reports of second-degree burns. The company’s first smartwatch, the Ionic allowed contactless payments, access to music and GPS-tracking and a variety of apps. Fitbit stopped production of the Ionic in 2020.

“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,” a Fitbit spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We received a very limited number of injury reports - the totals in the CPSC announcement represent less than 0.01 per cent of units sold - of the battery in Fitbit Ionic smartwatches overheating, posing a burn hazard.” 

The company said the recall doesn’t affect other Fitbit smartwatches or trackers.