A Letter from the CEO

OCTOBER 17, 2014

TO THE FITBIT FORCE COMMUNITY,

As many of you know, we chose to conduct a voluntary recall of the Fitbit Force in February 2014. Many of you have transitioned to our other trackers and we are happy that you are enjoying our other products. For those who experienced allergic reactions to Force, I wanted to provide an update as promised on what we have learned from our independent laboratory tests and medical experts since February.

In my last letter, we told you what we knew at that time, and we have confirmed the key points:

  • Independent test results have not found any issues with the battery or electrical systems.
  • Test results show that users were likely experiencing allergic contact dermatitis.
  • All the materials used in Force are also commonly used in other consumer products.

When we began our investigation, we believed some users were reacting to the nickel in the surgical grade stainless steel and that others were experiencing an allergic reaction to the materials used in the strap or the adhesives used to assemble the product. Based on our investigation since then, we are now confident that our users who experienced allergic contact dermatitis likely reacted either to very small levels of methacrylates, which were part of the adhesives used to manufacture Force or, to a lesser degree, nickel in the stainless steel casing. Methacrylates are commonly and safely used in many consumer products, including cosmetics, adhesive bandages, dental implants, and plexiglass. We have consulted with dermatologists who assure us that reactions to these materials used in the Force would be limited to the rashes experienced by some of our users, and that these rashes would be expected to heal on their own. We recommend that any users with concerns talk to their doctor, as each user may experience varying reactions due to his or her individual use patterns and differing sensitivity to these materials. Users who have not done so can still register for a refund online.

We have learned many lessons from this experience and are incorporating these lessons into future products to ensure that the entire Fitbit community can continue to enjoy our fitness trackers. We are working diligently on our next-generation trackers and will announce news about them as soon as we can.

Thank you for your continued loyalty and support.

 

Sincerely,

James Park

CEO & Co-Founder

Past Communication

FEBRUARY 20, 2014

TO THE FITBIT FORCE COMMUNITY,

I co-founded Fitbit in 2007 to help people lead healthier, more active lives. We have been thrilled by your response to our products, and are committed to customer satisfaction. Late last year, we began selling Fitbit Force, our most advanced activity tracker. Recently, some Force users have reported skin irritation. While only 1.7% of Force users have reported any type of skin irritation, we care about every one of our customers. On behalf of the entire Fitbit team, I want to apologize to anyone affected.

From the beginning, we have taken this matter very seriously. We hired independent labs and medical experts to conduct a thorough investigation. Here’s what we know:

  • Independent test results have not found any issues with the battery or electrical systems.
  • Test results show that users are likely experiencing allergic contact dermatitis.
  • All Force materials are commonly used in consumer products. However, 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.

We have now learned enough to take further action. We have stopped selling Force and have decided to conduct a voluntary recall. We are offering a refund directly to consumers for full retail price. For additional information related to the recall, we have set up a dedicated page on our website and a call center at 888-656-6381.

To our Force community, rest assured we’re working on our next-generation tracker and will announce news about it soon.

Thank you for your continued loyalty and support.

Sincerely,
James Park
CEO & Co-Founder


 

JANUARY 14, 2014

DEAR FITBIT CUSTOMER:

I am the CEO of Fitbit, and I’d like to apologize on behalf of the entire company for the skin irritation that some of our customers have experienced. While this has affected only a very limited number of customers, Fitbit’s mission is to create products that make our customers healthier, so we’re taking every case seriously and are dedicated to making it right.

We at Fitbit are continuing to work hard to identify the cause. Multiple tests conducted by an independent lab have eliminated the possibility of a problem with the mechanical or electrical functioning of the device. We have also consulted with medical professionals whose assessments are that these irritations are most likely common allergic reactions to nickel, a component of the surgical-grade steel used in the Fitbit Force. If you would like to find out more information about nickel allergies, you can visit a public health site such as Mayo Clinic.

While this issue seems to be impacting a very limited number of our customers, I know that is of little comfort if you’re one of them.

While we continue to look for the cause of the problem and research ways to modify the device so that everyone can wear it comfortably, we’ve created this website to help you find answers to frequently asked questions as well as information for those who would like to request a replacement or refund of their Fitbit Force.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at force@fitbit.com or call 877-941-2411, both of which have been set up specifically to address your questions on this issue.

Thank you for being a Fitbit customer and for your patience and understanding.

Sincerest Regards,
James Park
CEO & Co-Founder

Force FAQ

 

WHAT IS FITBIT'S REFUND POLICY?

We have decided to conduct a voluntary recall of the Fitbit Force. We are offering a refund directly to consumers for full retail price. For additional information related to the recall, we have set up a dedicated page on our website and a call center at 888-656-6381.

 

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?

Please see the Fitbit help documentation for the most up to date information: Force skin irritation Frequently Asked Questions.

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