A woman claims a Fitbit exploded on her wrist, which is more reason to avoid getting in shape


A woman in Wisconsin said her Fitbit exploded on her wrist, causing second-degree burns and prompting her to get up and move for all the wrong reasons. 

Dina Mitchell told ABC News in an email she had only been wearing her tracker, the Flex 2, for about two weeks when it burst into flames while she was reading last week. She didn’t report any prior issues with the device or its lithium-polymer battery, which was presumably the cause of the explosion. 

“It was either defective or really mad I was sitting still so long,” she wrote, proving the incident didn’t blow away her sense of humor. “I don’t know. Either way, It burned the heck out of my arm.”

Mitchell was able to pull the device off her wrist after it caught fire, and sought treatment for her burns the next day. She told ABC her doctor had to remove pieces of rubber and plastic out of her injured arm, and Fitbit offered her a replacement device, if she was eager to strap another one onto her uninjured wrist so soon after the explosion. 

“It was either defective or really mad I was sitting still so long.”

Fitbit has been quick to address the incident — with the specter of Samsung’s explosive battery issues hanging over the consumer electronics industry on the whole, the company is understandably wary of being perceived as another potentially dangerous brand. 

Fitbit reps gave us a lengthy statement about how the company will look into the explosion via email when reached for comment:   

We are extremely concerned about Ms. 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 products are designed and produced in accordance with strict standards and undergo extensive internal and external testing to ensure the safety of our users.

We have spoken with Ms. 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.

The Fitbit reps also pointed us to comments Ramon Llamas, analytics firm IDC‘s wearables research manager, provided USA Today about the incident.

“If anything, let’s be patient with the process,” Llamas told the publication, although he reportedly also said he’s “eager to see what Fitbit’s investigation uncovers.” 

Unless more battery problems with the Flex 2 or other Fitbit devices come to light, it’s probably fair to assume this was an isolated incident with one defective or potentially damaged unit. That can happen in rare cases with battery-powered devices, which is why Fitbit’s site warns users of potential injury if its products are handled improperly. 

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