Fitbit is recalling its “Force” fitness-tracking bracelet after some users complained of rashes and burns on their wrists. In a statement on Thursday, James Park, Fitbit’s co-founder and CEO, said that even though only 1.7 percent of Force users have reported any irritation, the company was recalling the $129 device out of an “abundance of caution.” Park, who noted that tests by an independent lab have ruled out any mechanical or electrical defects, said that those affected are likely reacting to nickel present in the Force’s stainless-steel components, the materials used in the strap, or the glues involved in the product’s assembly. “We are offering a refund directly to consumers for full retail price,” Park said, adding that the company is working on its “next-generation tracker and will announce news about it soon.”
Complaints about the Force began trickling into Fitbit’s forums as early as December. The thread soon picked up momentum, becoming a lurid catalogue of red, blistery skin. Some cases have been severe enough to require medical attention and prescription medication, according to the Wall Street Journal. At least one person claimed that Fitbit offered her a financial settlement, though she said she declined.
Released in October, the Force is the latest in Fitbit’s popular line of smartbands. The company says the device can be used to “track steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, stairs climbed and active minutes throughout the day,” as well as the user’s sleep patterns at night.
[Via Wall Street Journal]