MILWAUKEE — Brandy Liss felt validated after Fitbit announced a recall of 1.7 million of its Ionic Smartwatches on Wednesday, saying the battery in the watch "can overheat, posing a burn hazard."
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports Fitbit has received at least 115 reports in the United States of batteries in the watch overheating, including reports of third-degree and second-degree burns.
Liss told TMJ4 she was getting burns on her wrist from her Ionic watch months before the recall. When it happened, she didn't know what was causing her burn.
"I thought that maybe moisture had gotten in there or something was going on, and so I took it off and I would let it heal for a little while. And I would put it back on and it would burn me again," Liss told TMJ4.
She still has a scar in the area where the Ionic watch was placed on her wrist.
Liss posted pictures of her burn on Facebook months before the recall. In one post from Oct. 1, 2021, she asked her followers if anyone else was seeing similar reactions.
Fitbit statesthe recall "does not impact any other Fitbit smartwatches or trackers." Liss isn't so sure about that, because over Christmas, her boyfriend bought her a different Fitbit smartwatch called the Charge 5 and she says that watch burned her skin too.
"Sometimes it would blister up and scab over, so there were blisters from it," she shared.
The company is offering a refund for Ionic Smartwatch users, but Liss threw hers in the trash. She has her receipt though. She said she might try and get her money back.
Liss wasn't medically treated for her burns, but she thinks it could have gotten to that point.
"Mine was constant. It was overtime. I'm sure if I would have kept wearing it and not paid attention, we could have gotten to a third-degree burn," Liss said.
TMJ4 contacted Google because they own Fitbit and we told them about how Liss says she had burns from not just the Ionic, but the "Charge 5" smartwatch. A spokesperson asked us for her contact information to learn more about her issue.
A Google spokesperson also provided the following statement about the recall:
"Customer safety is always Fitbit’s top priority and out of an abundance of caution, we are conducting a voluntary recall of Fitbit Ionic smartwatches. We received a very limited number of injury reports - the totals in the CPSC 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 voluntary recall does not impact other Fitbit smartwatches or trackers."
Brandy Liss recently reached out to TMJ4 letting us know Google has decided to refund her for the cost of both of her Fitbit watches.