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Fitbit Owners Urged To 'Immediately' Stop Wearing Ionic Watches Over Burn Fears

Fitbit Owners Urged To 'Immediately' Stop Wearing Ionic Watches Over Burn Fears

Fitbit owners have been warned to 'immediately' stop wearing the company's Ionic smartwatches over fears that they could cause burns.

Fitbit owners have been warned to 'immediately' stop wearing the company's Ionic smartwatches over fears they could cause burns by overheating.

In a announcement by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, a full recall for the devices was issued, following more than 100 reports by users who said they'd suffered contact burns from wearing the smartwatch.

The CPSC urged owners of the Ionic smartwatch to contact Fitbit for a full refund of $299, with the company having also promised a 40% discount on any replacement purchase.

Fitbit Ionic smartwatch (Alamy)
Fitbit Ionic smartwatch (Alamy)

According to The Independent, the recall notice applies only to the Ionic smartwatch, and no other products manufactured and sold by Fitbit are affected.

The watches first launched in September 2017 and were available to buy until December last year, with Fitbit having ceased manufacturing the product in 2020.

A total of 174 reports about the Fitbit overheating have been recorded worldwide, with 120 of those reports seeing owners saying that they suffered burns as a result of the watch getting too hot. In a minority of cases owners reported suffering third degree burns to the affected area.

The majority of reports of overheating – a total of 115 – were lodged by customers in the United States, with the remaining 59 reported by owners across the rest of the world.

Marketed as a cheaper alternative to the Apple Watch, Fitbit's Ionic smartwatch is described on the company's website as 'a motivating GPS smartwatch packed with fitness guidance', with functions including 24/7 heart rate monitoring, a range of health and wellness traffics, as well as compatibility with essential apps.

Fitbit Ionic smartwatch (Alamy)
Fitbit Ionic smartwatch (Alamy)

NBC News reports that a total of 1.7 million of the devices have been sold worldwide, of which one million were bought by customers in the United States.

Fitbit has launched a dedicated page for owners of the affected devices, including information for returns and answers to questions its customers may have. The CPSC advised that users 'immediately stop using the recalled Ionic smartwatches and contact Fitbit to receive pre-paid packaging to return the device'.

Pre-paid packaging is available for US customers, while customers in the UK who have a Fitbit Ionic device are advised to stop using their device and visit the dedicated webpage here or call the Fitbit Customer Service line at 0800 048 5842 to receive a refund.

The watches in question are branded with the model number FB503 on the back of the device, and come in a range of colours: slate blue/burnt orange, charcoal/smoke gray, blue gray/silver gray, and a special collaboration edition with Adidas in ink blue/silver gray.

A spokesperson for Fitbit said: 'Fitbit is asking all customers to dispose of Ionic safely at an appropriate local collection point or recycling facility in accordance with local guidelines for recycling of lithium ion batteries and electronic devices.. Before recycling their device, we recommend that customers erase, or factory reset it to protect their personal information. For instructions, see How do I erase my Fitbit device?'

A statement from the company added: 'Customer safety is always Fitbit’s top priority and out of an abundance of caution, we are voluntarily recalling Fitbit Ionic smartwatches. We received a very limited number of reports - the totals in the U.S. regulator 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 recall does not impact other Fitbit smartwatches or trackers.'

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Featured Image Credit: Fitbit

Topics: Fitness, US News, Technology