Verizon Recalls Hotspots Following Fire Probe


US operator Verizon was forced to recall 2.5 million mobile hotspot devices, following an investigation which revealed the batteries used in the products could overheat and pose a fire hazard.

In a statement, the company said it was working with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to recall three models (MHS900L, MHS900LS and MHS900LPP) of the Ellipsis Jetpack hotspot devices, highlighting a fire threat in the Lithium-ion battery.

CSPC stated Verizon had received a total of 15 reports of the device overheating so far, including six cases of fire damage and two of minor burn injuries.

The device is imported by Franklin Wireless, and was sold at Verizon stores nationwide and on its official website from April 2017 until March 2021.

In its statement, Verizon explained the “safety of our customers is our highest priority”, adding it is “taking the situation very seriously” and is “working diligently to determine the cause of the issues with the supplier and to provide replacement devices for all our customers, free of charge”.

The devices have received a software update to prevent them charging when plugged in and powered on, helping to reduce the risk of overheating.

A company representative told The Verge a total of 1.3 million hotspots were in use by customers, with demand for the devices increasing during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

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