Fitbit, back in March this year, recalled around one million Fitbit Ionic fitness trackers in the US and 693,000 units that were sold globally following complaints of the device’s battery overheating. In addition to this, the company also offered a refund of $299 (Rs 22,670 approximately) to its users in the US. Now, a lawsuit claims that the Google-owned wearables company didn’t do enough to protect its users. The lawsuit also claims the same battery overheating issue exists in all of Fitbit’s smartwatches and fitness trackers.
According to a report by The Verge, all of Fitbit smartwatches and fitness trackers have the same defect wherein the battery tends to overheat, which in turn causes burns or creates fire hazards. The lawsuit also accuses Fitbit of trying to deflect blame onto ‘consumer hygiene’ when incidents are reported.
In the lawsuit, the two plaintiff argue that consumers “purchase the Products to burn calories — not their skin — and to safely pursue a healthy lifestyle with the aid of a smartwatch.” The two plaintiffs also claim that they both bought devices from the Versa lineup — a Versa Lite and a Versa 2 — both of which caused burn marks on users’ wrists.
In addition to this, the lawsuit cites several cases wherein users of Fitbit’s fitness trackers and smartwatches made similar complaints. The complaint also includes photos of burns from users who were using these devices including the Fitbit Sense, Fitbit Versa 3, Fitbit Blaze, Fitbit Inspire, and the Fitbit Inspire 2. It also includes multiple accounts wherein the users of Fitbit’s smartwatches and fitness trackers were ghosted by the company’s customer care executives for months when they tried to lodge a complaint against their faulty Fitbit devices.
Apart from this, the lawsuit also sheds light on how Google handled the refund process for its Fitbit Ionic smartwatches. The lawsuit claims that the company is reportedly ‘suppressing’ those refunds and that a lot of users have not been able to get a refund even after eight weeks. Court documents include several screenshots of replies to Fitbit Support’s official Twitter handle wherein customers were frustrated with long waits and unresponsive service.
The lawsuit is seeking class action status to redress the damages caused by Fitbit devices to the users in the US.
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