The world’s leading wearable manufacturer Fitbit has been hit with a lawsuit for giving an incorrect heart rate monitoring.
Consumers in California, Colorado and Wisconsin have accused Fitbit with giving incorrect on two of its products - Charge HR and Surge. The two wearables were introduced in the market last year. The plaintiffs claim that the rate of inaccuracy was by a "significant margin," especially when they are engaged in intense exercise. Fitbit is accused of failing to read every heartbeat despite solely focusing on its feature in its huge advertising campaign.
One of the complainants claimed that she purchased Charge HR in order to keep track of her heart rate during exercise. However, she said that the device didn't work as per advertised. And worst of all, Fitbit did not respond to her complaint seriously nor refund her.
This is not the first time Fitbit has been slapped with a class-action suit. In 2014, a group of consumers collectively filed a case accusing the company with misleading them by the advertising claims about the Fitbit Force wristband. During that time, the complaint was that those who use the device suffered from skin rashes. The Fitbit Force was eventually pulled from the market, and Fitbit later re-introduced a similar wristband called the Charge after comprehensive tests.
The complainants are seeking injunctive relief in addition to the actual damage payments for their "economic injuries".
However, Fitbit said that the law suit has little merit as it stands by the company’s heart rate reading technology. "(We) strongly disagrees with the statements made in the complaint and plans to vigorously defend the lawsuit...PurePulse (a company that is responsible for the heart rate tech) provides better overall heart rate tracking than cardio machines at the gym, as it tracks your heart rate continuously even while you’re not at the gym or working out. But it’s also important to note that Fitbit trackers are designed to provide meaningful data to our users to help them reach their health and fitness goals, and are not intended to be scientific or medical devices," the company said in a statement.
Fitbit’s order seems to be just than the law suit. It’s latest smartwatch – the Fitbit Blaze – which was launched on January 6 did not get much interest. In fact the company’s stock dropped by over 18% which is the lowest since the company became a public limited in summer of 2015.