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Fitbit recalls smartwatch after Ionic burn incidents

Fitbit’s first smartwatch faces a recall over safety concerns

Fergus Halliday
Mar 03, 2022
bullet1 min read

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The Fitbit Ionic smartwatch is being recalled by regulators, following reports that the lithium-ion batteries inside the device are overheating and burning users.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

Fitbit said the issue only affects Ionic smartwatches, and that those using the company’s other wearables are unaffected. 

“If you own a Fitbit Ionic, please stop using your device,” the company said.

In the United States, the recall is being handled by Fitbit and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

According to the agency, “Fitbit has received at least 115 reports in the United States (and 59 reports internationally) of the battery in the watch overheating with 78 reports of burn injuries in the United States including two reports of third-degree burns and four reports of second-degree burns (and 40 reports of burn injuries internationally).”

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommended affected consumers immediately stop using the Ionic smartwatch and get in contact with Fitbit to begin the process of returning their device. 

“Upon receipt of the device, consumers will be issued a refund of $299. Fitbit will also provide participating consumers with a discount code for 40% off select Fitbit devices,” it said.

Fitbit Ionic

Originally launched in 2017, the Ionic was Fitbit’s first stab at the smartwatch market. It featured a 1.4-inch LCD display, SpO2 sleep tracking, and four day battery life. However, despite solid health tracking credentials, the Fitbit Ionic failed to match market leaders like the Apple Watch when it came to software features or sales expectations.

The recall notice revealed that Fitbit sold around 1 million Ionic smartwatches in the United States and approximately 693,000 international regions prior to its discontinuation in 2020.

In Australia, the Fitbit Ionic is no longer sold by Fitbit but still available through a number of physical and digital retailers, from Myer to Amazon Australia.

When reached for comment, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said that it was aware of the issue and had been in contact with the supplier.

Fitbit issued the following statement when contacted by Reviews.org AU:

"Those impacted outside the U.S. should visit help.fitbit.com/ionic for information on how to receive a refund. All current or former Ionic users are eligible to receive a refund and we urge all Ionic users to participate. This does not impact any other Fitbit smartwatches or trackers."
Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a journalist and editor for Reviews.org. He’s written about technology, telecommunications, gaming and more for over a decade. He got his start writing in high school and began his full-time career as the Editor of PC World Australia. Fergus has made the MCV 30 Under 30 list, been a finalist for seven categories at the IT Journalism Awards and won Most Controversial Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards. He has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, GamesHub, Press Start, Screen Rant, Superjump, Nestegg and more.

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