Google voluntarily recalled 1.7 million Fitbit Ionic smartwatches in March due to issues from overheating batteries. A new lawsuit claims that the overheating problem is not unique to the Fitbit Ionic. But has been a known issue for quite some time, one that could plague all of Fitbit’s products, past and present.
A new class-action lawsuit filed by Jenny Houtchens and Samantha Ramirez, claims that Fitbit’s products have a design defect where it can cause injury in the form of burns. Houtchens purchased a Fitbit Versa Light for her daughter, while Ramirez purchased the Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch. Both experienced overheating issues with their respective devices, which resulted in the aforementioned injury.
“The same defect exists throughout all” Fitbit products.
The lawsuit goes a step further, claiming similar issues are present in other Fitbit products like the Versa, Versa 2, Versa 3, Charge 4, Versa Light, Ionic, Sense, Alta HR, Inspire, Inspire HR, Inspire 2, and Blaze. While it only names a handful of specific products, it does go on to state that the problem could potentially involve other unlisted models. Apparently, this problem has been occurring for quite some time but has only recently come to light because of Fitbit’s voluntary recall of its Ionic smartwatch.
“Moreover, Google’s “recall” of the Fitbit Ionic fails to fully compensate the owners of the Ionic. It is a mere facade to show that Defendant is “doing the right thing, ” but in fact, the recall merely protects Defendant’s profits by suppressing refunds by using methods and techniques that make it difficult for consumers to receive compensation for their defective watches.”
Within the documents filed, there are screenshots of public and private chats that occurred with Fitbit’s online support channels that support the claims above. There are also painful images showing burns that customers have sustained due to the overheating problems in its products. Many of these instances show lackluster support by Fitbit’s team. In some cases, the company claimed that the markings could be from allergic reactions caused by eczema and skin sensitivities.
Google’s Fitbit acquisition could literally be going up in smoke
It is unknown at this point just how widespread the issues mentioned in the lawsuit are. If the overheating problem really does encompass Fitbit’s entire product line, then it could be facing quite a serious issue going forward. Only time will tell if Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit was worth the trouble.
Source: Ars Technica
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