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Verizon recalls 2.5 million wireless hotspots due to fire, burn hazard

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PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) Verizon Recalls Millions Of Mobile Hotspots Because Battery May Overheat And Ignite, Says the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The recall relates specifically to Verizon’s Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspots.

Verizon has received 15 reports of overheating devices, the CPSC said, including six reports of fire damage to bedding or ground and two reports of minor burns.

“The safety of our customers is our top priority,” Verizon said in a declaration. “We take the situation very seriously and are working diligently to determine the cause of the issues with the supplier.”

The company urges 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 has stated that those who need the device to access the internet can take the following steps to reduce the risk of the battery overheating:

  • Activate the recalled access point and plug it in to allow it to receive two automatic over-the-air software updates that:
    • allow you to view the device identification number on its scrolling screen
    • prevent the device from charging when the device is plugged in and turned on
  • After the software update is applied, users should:
    • Leave the device powered on when plugged in
    • When not in use, the device should be turned off, unplugged from its power source, and stored safely

Anyone who owns any of the recalled devices is encouraged to contact Verizon to receive a free replacement hotspot. The company will also mail a return envelope so that the recalled device can be safely disposed of.

About 2.5 million of the affected hotspots have been sold through Verizon stores, and some have also been sold directly to school districts nationwide.

Verizon said it has notified all school districts that have purchased one or more of the recalled devices. Parents of students who have received one of the wireless access points to access the Internet are requested to contact their school for details on returning the device and receiving a replacement.

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