Until we reach that point in technological and manufacturing development, almost everything that has a battery can be considered a potential fire hazard, including the phones that we put in our pockets. The materials that power even the smallest of electronic devices are volatile and dangerous in certain combinations, resulting in accidents, damages, and sometimes even deaths. Fortunately, there are systems in place to alert consumers of such risks and, like in the case of Verizon’s Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspots, a system to have them replaced for free.
Launched back in 2017, the Ellipsis Jetpacks were imported by Franklin Wireless Corp. and sold for around $50 to $150. While they were sold by Verizon directly, they were also purchased by schools for distribution to students all the way up to last month. In other words, there’s quite a lot of them and this recall is noted to apply to 2.5 million units.
According to the recall report posted by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Verizon received 15 reports of such hotspots overheating. Six of those resulted in damages to property while two actually led to minor burns. Verizon recommends that the device be turned off immediately and stored in a safe and well-ventilated place away from children’s reach until it can be returned to the carrier.
That said, Verizon does have some safety measures for those who still need to use the Ellipsis Jetpack which starts with updating the device to disable charging while it is plugged in and powered on. You can continue using the hotspot while plugged in but should turn it off and unplug it when no longer in use.
The affected Ellipsis Jetpacks are the FWC MHS900L, model FWCR900TVL, DC151030. Unlike its predecessors, these come in an oval shape with a dark navy plastic body. Owners are advised to contact Verizon immediately for details about the free replacement offer.