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.
CEO & Co-Founder