Fitness wearables are meant to keep you healthy, not send you to the hospital. But it appears that a Fitbit has failed in its duties, as a woman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin alleged that her wearable exploded on her wrist, resulting in severe second-degree burns. Dina Mitchell claimed that her Flex 2 caught fire while she was reading a book. She removed the device and threw it on the floor, where the Fitbit continued to smolder.
“I was literally just sitting and reading when my Fitbit exploded,” Mitchell said in an emailed statement to ABC News. “It was either defective or really mad I was sitting still so long … I don’t know. Either way, it burned the heck out of my arm.” Mitchell noted that she’d only owned the Fitbit for around two weeks when it exploded, and that nothing else seemed amiss before the unfortunate incident.
“The Fitbit itself is totally melted. The bracelet melted, and I got pieces of plastic burned into my arm,” she told local ABC affiliate WTMJ-TV. These pieces of plastic were later removed by local emergency care providers, who confirmed that Mitchell received medical attention the day after the alleged explosion.
While the Fitbit does have a disclaimer pointing out that “the device contains electrical equipment that could cause injury if not handled properly,” the company is still investigating the issue. “We are extremely concerned about Mitchell’s report regarding her Flex 2 and take it very seriously, as the health and safety of our customers is our top priority,” Fitbit said in a statement to the media. “We have spoken with Mitchell and are actively investigating this issue. We are not aware of any other complaints of this nature and see no reason for people to stop wearing their Flex 2. We will share additional information as we are able.”
Just a few short days later, the wearable company completed its investigation, and concluded that its device was not to blame for the spontaneous combustion. “Based on our initial investigation, including testing of her device by a leading third-party failure analysis firm, we have concluded that Ms. Mitchell’s Fitbit Flex 2 did not malfunction,” a Fitbit spokesperson said. “The testing shows that external forces caused the damage to the device.”
Apparently, Fitbit believes that the wearable in question did not in fact suffer from an overheated lithium polymer battery, and maintains that no other customers have complained about their Flex 2’s spontaneously combusting.
“The health and safety of our customers is our top priority and, as such, Fitbit products are designed and produced in accordance with strict standards and undergo extensive internal and external testing to ensure the safety of our users,” the spokesperson concluded.
Article updated on 04-29-2017 by Lulu Chang: Added news that Fitbit concluded its investigation and determined the Flex 2 was not to blame