February 24, 2014 — FitBit Force, a popular fitness-tracking wristband, has been voluntarily recalled because it may cause skin irritation and rashes.
In an announcement from CEO and co-founder James Park, about 1.7% of users reported skin problems. He said the burns are not caused by the batter or electrical components. Instead, the problem is allergic contact dermatitis, which is caused by an irritant such as dyes or metals. While it is not life-threatening and usually heals within 2-4 weeks, it can potentially lead to blistering, infection, and scarring.
Park said in a letter on the company website:
“Some users may be reacting to the nickel present in the surgical grade stainless steel used in the device. Other users are likely experiencing an allergic reaction to the materials used in the strap or the adhesives used to assemble the product.”
FitBit has set up a hotline at 1-888-656-6381 and a recall website. FitBit is offering a full refund for the $130 product and will stop selling the Force. The company is now working on a “next-generation tracker.”