Fitbit recalls 1.7 million smartwatches due to burn risk

Fitbit is recalling 1.7 million of its Ionic smartwatches, following a wave of complaints by users burnt by the overheating wearable. — REUTERS/File Photo

Fitbit on Wednesday recalled 1.7 million of its Ionic smartwatches used for tracking steps and other activity due to the risk of batteries overheating and burning wearers.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a recall notice that it received slightly more than 100 reports of Ionic wearers being burned by the smartwatches.

A handful of those burns were reported to be second-degree or third-degree.

"Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Ionic smartwatches," the commission urged.

About a million Ionic smartwatches have been sold in the United States and another 693,000 or so outside the country, according to the notice.

Fitbit is offering refunds of US$299 (RM1,253) each for the recalled smartwatches, which the company had manufactured in Taiwan but stopped producing in 2020.

Google completed its buy of Fitbit early last year in a deal valued at US$2.1bil (RM8.8bil) and is expected to soon release a Pixel smartwatch designed to sync with Android-powered smartphones.

Fitbit was a pioneer in the market for "wearable" devices used to keep track of activities from sleep to running but quickly faced rivals including an Apple Watch with sophisticated health-focused features. – AFP

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