Verizon recalls millions of Wi-Fi hotspots due to fire risk

Verizon recalls millions of Wi-Fi hotspots due to fire risk
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

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 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 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 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.”

Verizon recalls millions of Wi-Fi hotspots due to fire risk

(Image credit: Verizon)

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 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 or call 855-205-2627 for more information on how to exchange their device for a new one.

Jennifer Allen

Jennifer has been freelancing for over 10 years. In the past, she's written about all things tech and gaming wise for outlets as varied as The Independent, Playboy, Eurogamer, and TechRadar. In her spare time, she spends far too much time watching films, attempting to train her pet guinea pigs, and mastering making the perfect burrito.  She's a full time freelancer, but a regular tech news contributor to Top Ten Reviews.