Fitbit Recalls 1.7 Million Ionic Smartwatches Due to Burn Hazard

Consumers should stop using the device and return it to Fitbit for a full refund

Recalled Fitbit Ionic smartwatch Source: CPSC

Update: A federal class-action lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California claims that the recall of Fitbit Ionic smartwatches described in this article did not go far enough and that other Fitbit products have a similar flaw. This article was originally published on March 3, 2022.

Fitbit is recalling about 1.7 million Ionic smartwatches worldwide because the lithium-ion battery in the device can overheat, posing a burn hazard to consumers.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 115 devices have malfunctioned in the U.S. with 59 more failures internationally. That resulted in 78 injuries in the U.S, and 40 more abroad, with some users suffering second- and third-degree burns.

Fitbit, which is owned by Google, told CR that its products "undergo extensive internal and external testing to ensure the safety of our users" and that it "takes every customer complaint seriously and investigates these issues in an ongoing manner."

Consumers should return their products to Fitbit for a full refund and a discount on future purchases of Fitbit products.

The Details

Devices affected: This recall involves only the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch. The device has a 1.4-inch color LCD screen and a polyurethane band.

To identify the model, look for the model number (FB503) on the back of the device under the “CE” mark and above the clasp near where the band attaches.

Only the following models and colors are included in the recall: Ionic FB503CPBU in slate blue/burnt orange; Ionic FB503GYBK in charcoal/smoke gray; Ionic FB503WTGY in blue gray/silver gray; and Ionic FB503WTNV Adidas edition, ink blue & ice gray/silver gray.

To see which device is connected to your Fitbit account, tap the Today tab on the Fitbit app, then tap your profile picture. On the Account page, review the devices connected to your account.

The watches were sold at Best Buy, Kohl’s, Target, and other stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com and Fitbit.com from September 2017 through December 2021 for between $200 and $330. Fitbit stopped production of the Ionic in 2020. About 1 million devices were sold in the U.S., and about 693,000 were sold internationally.

Consumer Reports tested the device and gave it a CR Best Buy recommendation. The recall doesn’t affect other Fitbit smartwatches or fitness trackers.

The problem: Fitbit has received at least 115 reports in the U.S.—and 59 reports internationally—of the battery in the Ionic watch overheating, according to the CPSC. There were 78 reports of burn injuries in the U.S., including two reports of third-degree burns and four reports of second-degree burns, as well as 40 reports of burn injuries internationally.

The fix: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Ionic smartwatch and contact Fitbit to receive prepaid packaging to return the device.

Upon receipt of the device, consumers will be issued a refund of $299. Fitbit will also provide participating consumers with a discount code for 40 percent off select Fitbit devices, bands, and services, which is good for 90 days.

The company estimates that consumers will receive their refunds three to six weeks after completing the registration process. All Ionic users, including those no longer actively using the device, are eligible for a refund.

Before sending in your device, you may want to delete your personal data, which might include credit and debit card info; follow this link for detailed instructions.

How to contact the manufacturer: Consumers can call Fitbit toll-free at 888-925-1764, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For more information go to the Fitbit Ionic help page, or go to Fitbit’s home page and click on “Product Help” at the bottom of the page. To begin the recall process go to the Fitbit Ionic Recall page.

CPSC recall number: 22-089

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include comments from Fitbit.


Allen St. John

I believe that technology has the power to change our lives—for better or for worse. That's why I’ve spent my life reporting and writing about it for outlets of all sorts, from newspapers (such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times) to magazines (Popular Mechanics and Rolling Stone) and even my own books ("Newton’s Football" and "Clapton’s Guitar"). For me, there's no better way to spend a day than talking to a bunch of experts about an important subject and then writing a story that'll help others be smarter and better informed.