Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg speaks at the New York Stock Exchange, October 22, 2019.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Verizon recalls 2.5 million hotspot devices after discovering that the lithium-ion battery can overheat, creating a risk of fire and burns.

The recall involves Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspots imported by Franklin Wireless Corp and sold between April 2017 and March 2021. Affected models are labeled: MHS900L, MHS900LS and MHS900LPP. Verizon disclosed the recall Thursday alongside a US Consumer Product Safety Commission opinion (CPSC).

A spokesperson for Verizon said that just over one million of the recalled devices are currently in use, that is, in current or recent use by customers.

According to the recall notice issued by the CPSC, Verizon had received 15 reports of hotspot overheating. Six of these reports included incidents of fire damage to bedding or floors and two involved minor burns.

The recall comes at a time when more and more consumers are relying on hotspots to fend for themselves during home orders resulting from the pandemic. Some of the access points were provided to students by their schools to continue distance learning, according to the recall notice. Parents who have received hotspots from their children’s schools are encouraged to contact schools to receive a replacement.

Other customers can request a replacement by going to ellipsisjetpackrecall.expertinquiry.com or by calling 855-205-2627.

The company has already sent a software update to powered access points that it says will help reduce the risk of overheating. The update prevents the hotspot from charging when it is powered on. Verizon also offered tips to prevent overheating, including turning off devices when not in use, placing them on a solid, level surface, making sure nothing is covering them, and not exposing them to extreme temperatures for a while. long periods.

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

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