Google’s Fitbit brand is recalling 1.7 million smartwatches after dozens of reports of burns from the wearable fitness device. Apparently, the battery in the watch can overheat and burn the user’s wrist. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that Fitbit has received 174 reports of the battery overheating worldwide, with “78 reports of burn injuries in the United States, including two reports of third-degree burns and four reports of second-degree burns.”
The CPSC says consumers should stop using the watch and contact Fitbit to receive pre-paid packaging to return the device. Just fill out the Fitbit recall form here to get the return kit. There’s also an official FAQ that describes the process. Upon receipt of your Ionic, Fitbit says you’ll get a full refund for the $299 MSRP and a coupon for 40 percent off “select Fitbit devices.” Before sending in your device, it’s a good idea to erase your data; go to “Settings -> About -> Factory reset” in the watch software.
Fitbit was a pioneer in fitness devices, but the rise of smartwatches like the Apple Watch has threatened single-use fitness devices. Fitbit’s answer was to buy the smartwatch company Pebble in 2016. A year later, the first Fitbit smartwatch, the Ionic, arrived. The device was sold from September 2017 through December 2021, though production stopped in 2020. With Google’s acquisition of Fitbit in 2021, the lineage of the “Fitbit OS” devices like the Ionic, Versa, and Versa 2 is most likely dead.