Feel the third-degree burn —
Lawsuit says Fitbits are supposed to help customers “burn calories—not their skin.”
Google and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled 1.7 million Fitbit Ionic smartwatches earlier this year, citing “78 reports of burn injuries in the United States, including two reports of third-degree burns and four reports of second-degree burns.” A new lawsuit claims the recall was not enough, and that “the same defect exists throughout all” Fitbit products.
The Fitbit Iconic’s recall was due to faulty batteries that would overheat and burn a user’s skin. It’s hard to believe “all” Fitbit products are affected by this defect, but given that companies tend to share designs and components across products, it would not be surprising to hear that multiple smartwatch-style models contain defective batteries.
Two women named in the lawsuit claim they were burned by their Fitbits; one had a Fitbit Versa Light and the other a Fitbit Versa 2. The lawsuit also points out several online reports of burns from Fitbit products, like the Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Sense lines. Fitbit’s replies usually claim these reports are due to “skin irritation” or “friction,” but the lawsuit contends that this is not the case, saying that these products can “overheat and pose a significant hazard for burns and fires” due to a defect in “the battery and charging system.”
Here are a few of the reports with pictures that were cited in the lawsuit:
The lawsuit also takes issue with how the Iconic recall has been handled. Google said it would offer “full refunds” to Ionic users, but the lawsuit says Google is “suppressing” those refunds. The lawsuit includes many reports of users still not getting a refund after eight weeks.
The lawsuit seeks class action status to represent customers in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Washington.