Verizon is recalling 2.5 million of its mobile hotspot devices after an investigation found that their batteries could overheat and possibly catch fire.
The device involved is the Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspot which was sold by the internet provider (opens in new tab) between April 2017 and March of this year, so if you've bought a mobile hotspot recently, you may want to check if you're affected. The affected models include the MHS900L, MHS900LS, and the MHS900LPP. Each is the same device but the model number differs depending on whether you've purchased the hotspot via a prepaid or postpaid plan, so it's worth double checking what model number your device is.
Ellipsis Jetpack devices overheating
Verizon is working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) with the recall notice (opens in new tab) explaining that there have been 15 different reports so far of the devices overheating. That includes six reports of fire damage to bedding or flooring and two reports of minor burn injuries to the owners. Because of this, Verizon is taking the issue seriously and has released a statement (opens in new tab) regarding the matter:
“During investigations with the supplier, it has been determined that the lithium-ion battery in the Ellipsis Jetpack devices can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard. The safety of our customers is our highest priority. We are taking the situation very seriously, and we are working diligently to determine the cause of the issues with the supplier and to provide replacement devices for all of our customers, free of charge.”
Automatic software updates issued
Besides initiating the recall, Verizon has sent two over-the-air automatic software updates to all powered-on Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspots. The first update enables the device's identifying number to be viewed on its scrolling screen so users can more easily identify what model number they have, while the second update prevents the device from charging while it's plugged in and powered on in a bid to reduce the risk of overheating.
Consistently ranking in the top spot on our best cell phone providers (opens in new tab) list, Verizon believes that about 1.3 million of the hotspot devices are currently in use by customers, and recommend that customers should switch the device off if it's one of the affected model numbers.
If you think you have one of the affected mobile hotspots, you can visit the recall website (opens in new tab) or call 855-205-2627 for more information on how to exchange their device for a new one.