Verizon recalls 2.5M mobile hotspot devices over burn, fire concerns
At least 15 devices that have overheated including six reports of fire damage
A portable hotspot sold by Verizon Wireless has been recalled nationwide over fears that its lithium-ion battery may overheat and potentially injure consumers.
The American telecommunications company disclosed that about 2.5 million of its Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspots may pose "fire and burn hazards," according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
To date, Verizon is aware of at least 15 devices that have overheated. This includes "six reports of fire damage to bedding or flooring" as well as "two reports of minor burn injuries," the agency said.
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Jetpacks are wireless devices that allow customers to share their Verizon network connection with other devices such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks.
The devices, imported by Franklin Wireless Corp., are dark navy plastic oval devices about 3.5 inches wide and 2.25 inches tall. The devices also have "Verizon" printed below the digital display window on the front.
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According to the agency, the devices were sold at Verizon stores, other retailers nationwide and online from April 2017 through March 2021. However, they were also given out to certain school districts so students can have internet access at home.
Verizon alerted its customers, including the affected students, that it would be replacing hotspots for free.
Parents whose children received the recalled devices are advised to contact their school for instructions on how to properly return it and get a replacement.
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For the time being, the agency said consumers can mitigate burn or fire hazards by turning off the device and unplugging it from its power source.
The agency also recommends storing it on top of a hard surface "with adequate ventilation" and "away from combustibles" until it can be returned.
Verizon did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment.