Without a shadow of a doubt, Fitbit is one of the leaders in the fitness tracking industry.
Their wearables are much-loved and appreciated by people from all walks of life, and for a good reason too – they’re sleek, stylish devices that can track your activity, health and sleep patterns, as well as give you notifications from your smartphone.
When it comes to the complexity of wellness-tracking applications, possibly only Apple Watches and Samsung’s Galaxy Active line can compete against Fitbit’s ever-improving technology.
With that said, the California-based wearable giant isn’t without faults.
Recently, a surge of user complaints has recently led the brand to recall and discontinue some of its products.
In this article, we look at the affected collection and the reasoning behind this drastic move.
In 2021, Fitbit started receiving complaints from users both in the United States and abroad about skin irritation and burns caused by their fitness tracker.
The device in question is Fitbit Ionic which is, or should we say was available in four versions:
- Ionic FB503CPBU
- Ionic FB503GYBK
- Ionic FB503WTGY
- Ionic FB503WTNV
The issue with the Ionic line was that the lithium-ion battery powering the smartwatch was easily overheating, posing a serious threat to the wearer’s health and often causing burns.
Before the recall decision, the company had sold over 1 million Ionic devices in the US and nearly the same number outside of it.
Serious Burns Reported
So, is the Fitbit Ionic recall real?
Absolutely. And for a good reason, too.
Just in the United States alone, there have been well over 100 reports of the battery’s overheating issue. 78 wearers reported burn injuries out of which as many as four were second-degree burns and two third-degree burns.
If we take into account reports from worldwide wearers, the number is a lot higher. We also need to consider people who didn’t report their burns for one reason or another.
All in all, this makes for a very dangerous and potentially life-threatening product flaw.
Fitbit’s Reaction to the Complaints
After months of silence and user outcry, Fitbit finally decided to take matters into its own hands.
In March of 2022, the company released an official statement, announcing the recall of all Ionic smartwatches.
They also announced that they would be offering full refunds to anyone who had purchased the device, regardless of whether or not they had experienced any issues with it.
The decision was made in order to ensure the safety of their customers and gain back their trust. However, many wearers were already severely injured, both physically and emotionally.
The Aftermath of the Recall
The Fitbit Ionic recall was a huge blow to the company, both reputation, and image-wise.
It also resulted in a large number of lawsuits, as some of the wearers who had experienced burns decided to take legal action.
The future of the Ionic line is still uncertain, but it’s safe to say that it won’t be released anytime soon.
This whole fiasco has made people a lot more vigilant when it comes to safety, regardless of the brand.
It also goes to show that even the most popular and well-established companies can make mistakes.
Can I Still Wear My Fitbit Ionic?
It’s highly advised that you stop using your Fitbit Ionic immediately and contact the company in order to get a refund.
If you continue to wear the device, you’re putting yourself at risk of serious burn injury.
This is not a decision that should be taken lightly, as your health and safety should always come first.
Once you contact Fitbit regarding the issue, the company should organize a pre-paid packaging to return the faulty device.
Consumers who purchase the devices will receive a refund of $299 when they pick them up. What’s more, Fitbit will provide eligible customers with a coupon code for 40% off select Fitbit products.