Fitbit issued a voluntary recall of its Ionic smartwatch. The device was produced between 2017 and 2020. Its production run ended shortly before Fitbit was acquired by Google in January 2021 but remained on sale as late as December 2021.
About 1 million of the devices were sold across the US, with an additional 693,000 reaching customers elsewhere across the globe.
From that pool of nearly 1.7 million devices, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received reports of 115 domestic incidents (and 59 international incidents) of the Ionic's battery overheating. The CPSC's recall page notes that 78 of those reports included burn injuries to users. At least six of these injuries were quite severe, including four second-degree burns and two third-degree burns.
Because of this, Fitbit is recommending that all Ionic owners participate in the recall, regardless of whether or not their device is currently functioning normally. The company's consumer notice provides details on how Ionic owners can return their devices for a $299 refund. According to the CPSC, the Ionic originally retailed for between $200 and $330.
Fitbit didn't detail the root cause of the overheating issue, saying only "in very limited instances, the battery in the Ionic smartwatch can overheat, posing a burn hazard."
In addition to the $299 refund, participating Fitbit owners will also receive access to "a special discount on select Fitbit devices, bands, and services, for a limited time."
Anyone unsure if they have one of the impacted units can check the back of their device. If it displays the model number FB503, then it is included in the safety recall.
Update: A Fitbit spokesperson reached out with an official statement on the matter. That statement follows:
"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. We received a very limited number of injury reports - the totals in the CPSC 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 voluntary recall does not impact other Fitbit smartwatches or trackers."