Fitbit Ionic recall UK: Why Fitbit Ionic smartwatches have been recalled and how Ionic users can get a refund

Fitbit Ionic users have been told to stop using the smartwatch immediately after the company issued a Fitbit Ionic recall – here’s what UK owners need to know

Fitbit Ionic recall UK: Why Fitbit Ionic smartwatches have been recalled and how Ionic users can get a refund (Image credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Fitbit Ionic recall UK: Why Fitbit Ionic smartwatches have been recalled and how Ionic users can get a refund (Image credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Fitbit smartwatches and wearable devices are adored by millions of fitness lovers and runners for providing detailed statistics and insights into their health, habits and wellbeing.

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Carried in tens of thousands of stores in more than 100 countries worldwide, Fitbit has gone from strength to strength with its range of smartwatches – with the company acquired by Big Tech giant Google in 2021 for $2.1 billion.

But one of Fitbit’s smartwatch products, the Fitbit Ionic, has now been subject to a recall applying across the globe.

Fitbit’s Ionic recall in the UK and elsewhere comes after an investigation into the smartwatch’s safety revealed a burn hazard for the Ionic, which hit shelves in mid-2017.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission claims that one million Fitbit Ionics have been sold in the US, with a further 693,000 sold internationally.

Here’s what Fitbit Ionic owners in the UK need to know about the recall, why the Ionic has been recalled and how to get your refund.

Why is Fitbit Ionic being recalled?

The recall of the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch was announced on March 2 2022 after the company announced that it had received a number of reports about the model’s rechargeable lithium-polymer battery overheating and potentially burning wearers.

In a Fitbit Ionic recall notice on Fitbit’s website, the company said: “After a thorough investigation, we determined that in very limited instances, the battery in the Ionic smartwatch can overheat, posing a burn hazard.”

It added that the voluntary recall does not extend to any other Fitbit smartwatches or products, with the issue occurring in the Ionic alone, but Ionic watch owners should stop using the smartwatch immediately.

“Customer safety is always Fitbit’s top priority and out of an abundance of caution, we are voluntarily recalling Fitbit Ionic smartwatches,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday (March 3).

“We received a very limited number of reports - the totals in the US regulator 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 recall does not impact other Fitbit smartwatches or trackers.”

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s notice of the Fitbit Ionic recall, Fitbit received at least 115 reports in the US and a further 59 reports internationally of the Ionic’s long-lasting battery overheating.

There were 78 reports of burn injuries in the US, 40 internationally, and US burn injury reports included two reports of third-degree burns and four reports of second-degree burns.

How will I know if I have a Fitbit Ionic?

While many of Fitbit’s smartwatches have a similar look and feel, there are noticeable differences between the Fitbit Ionic and the brand’s other models.

Tracking activity, heart rate and sleep, and offering Fitbit Pay, Swim Mode and a range of other features, the watch has a sleek, square face and a blockier appearance than rounded-face models like the Sense and Versa Fitbits.

Sold with a polyurethane band in slate blue/burnt orange, charcoal/smoke grey and blue grey/silver grey colour combinations, the Ionic has a 1.4-inch color LCD screen with the Fitbit logo printed.

A special edition of the Ionic was also created in a collaboration with Adidas, with the ink blue and silver grey coloured watch also among those recalled.

You find the model number of your Fitbit to check if it matches that of the Ionic, which has the model number FB503, by looking on the back of the watch – where the model number will be located under the CE mark and above the watch’s clasp.

How to get a refund for Fitbit Ionic recall

Due to the Fitbit Ionic being discontinued in 2020 as the company turned to focus on the possibilities with its Sense models, Ionic smartwatch owners cannot get a new Ionic watch or simply exchange it for a different Fitbit model.

Instead, Fitbit Ionic owners are being offered a refund of $299 (£223) and a special 40% discount on select Fitbit devices, bands and services which can be redeemed within 90 days of registering for a refund.

Ionic owners can apply for a refund by visiting Fitbit’s refund registration page to start the process – with the refund itself coming in three to six weeks.

Fitbit said that users in the UK who own a Fitbit Ionic device should stop using their device and visit the dedicated UK help webpage or call Fitbit Customer Service on 0800 048 5842 to receive a refund.

To get rid of your Ionic, you should dispose of the smartwatch safely at a relevant local collection point or recycling centre – following the local rules for recycling electronic devices and items containing lithium ion batteries.

You can find out how to erase your data on a Fitbit device prior to recycling it at https://help.fitbit.com/articles/en_US/Help_article/2216.htm.

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