Google’s Fitbit Ionic recall doesn’t go far enough, the lawsuit says

Google announced this in March voluntary recall of 1.7 million Fitbit Ionic smartwatches following reports of 78 burns. Well, a recently filed legal action says the recall didn’t go far enough, claiming the same bug affects all of Google’s Fitbit devices.

According to court documents, all Fitbit smartwatches and fitness trackers share the same flaw — a tendency to overheat, causing burns or creating fire hazards. The complaint also alleges Fitbit tried to shift blame to “consumer hygiene” when reporting incidents and that the recall is not adequately compensating Ionic owners.

“Reasonable consumers,” the complaint states, “are buying the products to burn calories — not their skin — and to safely lead a healthy lifestyle with the help of a smartwatch.” The lawsuit is seeking class-action status.

The two plaintiffs in the case had both purchased devices from the Versa line – a Versa Lite and a Versa 2 – not the Ionic. Additionally, the complaint features photos of burns from users who have had other devices, including the Sense, Versa 3, Blaze, Inspire, and Inspire 2. It also includes multiple Fitbit owner accounts, which are being ghosted by the company’s customer support.


The Ionic was Fitbit’s first smartwatch in 2017.
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

The crux of the lawsuit is the allegation that while Fitbit recalled the Ionic, it hasn’t done so for its other devices, though they may also be burning users. As a result, customers may not be aware that they are wearing a potential fire hazard. Specifically, the case fuels fears that customers could wear a smartwatch in flight without realizing the battery could be defective. It also notes that while Fitbit Ionic owners have offered full refunds, the company has been stubborn when it comes to issuing those refunds.

I can’t say I’m terribly surprised to see these allegations. While I’ve never experienced the problem when reviewing Fitbit devices, I’ve seen several complaints on Reddit and other social media platforms over the years claiming that various Fitbit products have come up burned or irritated skin of users. Though anecdotal, many of these accounts also referenced it taking Fitbit months to issue refunds or even respond.

The court documents similarly include multiple screenshots of responses to @FitbitSupport Twitter where customers were frustrated with lLong wait times and unresponsive customer service trying to get refunds for the recently recalled Ionic. We’ve also heard independently from a tipster that the Ionic recall process is slow.

Fitbit did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Google’s Fitbit Ionic recall doesn’t go far enough, the lawsuit says

Fry Electronics Team

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