Fitbit Recalls Ionic Smartwatches over Safety Concerns

    Photo: Reuters [via The Guardian]

    The Facts

    • Fitbit has issued a recall for roughly 1.7M Ionic smartwatches following reports of overheating batteries.

    • At least 118 burn injuries have been reported worldwide, including two third-degree burns and four second-degree burns.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Fitbit is voluntarily taking action out of an abundance of caution because it prioritizes the health and safety of its customers. Incidents of overheating batteries are very rare, representing less than 0.01% of units sold, and information is readily available on how to return the products to rapidly resolve the situation and avoid further harm.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Users have been reporting issues with overheating Ionic watches since at least 2019. This may be a voluntary recall, but only because the company is over a barrel with reports of serious injury. This is just the latest dent in the company's reputation and shows their product safety assessment hasn't improved much since their 2014 recall of Force wristbands that caused severe skin irritation.

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