Smart watches

Fitbit recalls over 1 million smartwatches due to burn hazard

Fitbit, the Google-owned maker of wearable health tracking devices, is voluntarily recalling its Ionic smartwatch after more than 100 reports of burns from an overheating battery, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday.

Around one million devices, which track activity, heart rate and sleep, were sold in the United States from September 2017 to December 2021, with another 693,000 sold internationally. Fitbit has received at least 174 reports of the lithium-ion battery overheating, resulting in 118 reported injuries, including two third-degree burns and four second-degree burns, according to the commission.

Owners will be refunded $299 after returning their Ionic watch and will receive a discount code for select Fitbit devices, the commission said.

A Fitbit representative noted that injury reports accounted for less than 0.01% of all Ionic watches sold and said the recall did not affect other Fitbit products.

In 2014, Fitbit recalled more than one million of its Force bands after customers complained of severe skin irritation. The company avoided a recall of its Flex wristbands later that year, after similar complaints, by adding a nickel allergy warning and a sizing guideline to prevent users from wearing the wristbands too tightly.

According to the Fitbit community forums, users have been reporting Ionic watches overheating issues since at least 2019.

Google acquired Fitbit for $2.1 billion in early 2021 after agreeing not to use health and wellness data created by Fitbit to target ads to internet users.