PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Verizon is recalling millions of mobile hotspots because the battery can overheat and catch fire, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The recall specifically involves Verizon’s Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspots.
Verizon has received 15 reports of the devices overheating, the CPSC said, including six reports of fire damage to bedding or flooring and two reports of minor burns.
“The safety of our customers is our highest priority,” Verizon said in a statement. “We are taking the situation very seriously, and we are working diligently to determine the cause of the issues with the supplier.”
The company is urging anyone who has purchased the device to turn it off, unplug it from its power source and place it out of the reach of children until it can be returned for a refund.
Verizon said those who need the device for internet access can take the following steps to reduce the risk of the battery overheating:
- Turn the recalled hotspot “on” and plug it in to allow the hotspot to receive two over-the-air automatic software updates that:
- enable the device’s identifying number to be viewed on its scrolling screen
- prevent the device from charging while the device is plugged in and powered on
- After the software update is applied, users should:
- Leave the device powered on while it is plugged in
- When not in use, the device should be turned off, unplugged from its power source, and securely stored
Anyone who owns one of the recalled devices is urged to contact Verizon to receive a replacement hotspot free of charge. The company will also send a return envelope through the mail so the recalled device can be safely disposed of.
Approximately 2.5 million of the affected hotspots were sold at Verizon stores, and some were also sold directly to school districts nationwide.
Verizon said it has notified any school districts that purchased one or more of the recalled devices. Parents of students who were given one of the wireless hotspots for internet access are urged to contact their school for more details on returning the device and receiving a replacement.