Intel issues a full recall over Basis Peak fitness watches that may burn you

The serious recall leaves Intel's wearables strategy up in the air.

Intel-owned Basis issued a full recall on Wednesday over its Peak fitness watches that pose a burn hazard.

“We are issuing this safety recall of the Basis Peak watch because the watch can overheat, which could result in burns or blisters on the skin surface,” said Intel senior VP Josh Walden. “It is important that you stop using your watch immediately and return it.”

The recall impacts Basis Peak watches manufactured from August 2014 to July 2015, which were sold from November 2014 until June 2016. It essentially impacts all Basis Peak watches ever sold, regardless of manufacturing and sale date.

Officials with Basis said of all the watches sold, only 0.2 percent have reported injuries.
This recall doesn’t affect the older discontinued Basis B1, but the company has offered full refunds for those since June as well.

Why this matters: Basis had been struggling for months to find a solution to reports that its fitness watch could overheat and cause blistering. In June, the company took the unusual step of telling people to stop wearing it and began offering full refunds while it worked on a solution. On Wednesday, it became clear no such fix could be found.

Blame the best feature

Unlike many smartwatches that monitor heart rate only occasionally, the Peak continually monitors heart rate using an active LED on the back of the device. That LED, in some situations, appears to have caused burn injuries if the watch overheated.

9 basis peak charger Jon Phillips

The green LED on the back of the Basis Peak that continually monitors heart rate has apparently caused isolated burn injuries.

”We had hoped to update the software on your watch to address the problem. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we aren’t able to develop such a solution without completely compromising the user experience,” Walden said, in a post on Basis’ website. “As a result, we are asking that you return your Basis Peak watch and authorized accessories for a full refund at your earliest convenience. This was a tough decision, but your safety is our top priority.”

Even those who decide to ignore the recall—despite the full refund—won’t have a choice. Intel officials said the company would turn off the Basis Peak service on December 31, 2016. This will render the watch effectively dead, because it will no longer be able to sync data. Users will be able to export their fitness data.

What happens now

The refunds appear to be full retail value of the watch. Those who purchased a Basis Titanium would receive $344, which includes the tax and shipping. Those who bought a standard Basis Peak will receive $234.

The company will also issue full refunds for authorized accessories, such as the cradle or straps. Full details of the recall are available at https://support.mybasis.com.

What isn’t clear is what happens to Intel’s wearables initiative. Intel purchased the San Francisco-based company in 2014 for a reported $100 million. Intel Chief Executive and fitness enthusiast Brian Krzanich could often be seen sporting one of its watches.

When Basis kills the Basis Peak at the end of this year, the company will have no wearable products on the market. That leaves the fate of Basis and Intel’s foray into wearables up in the air with no safety net.

4 basis peak vs basis steel Jon Phillips

Intel will give you a full refund for your Basis Peak, which could burn you.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gordon Mah Ung

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?