If you have an Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspot from Verizon (the owner of Engadget’s parent company), you may want to check it right now. The carrier has issued a recall for 2.5 million Jetpack mobile hotspots after receiving 15 reports of instances wherein the device overheated. In six of those, the device caused fire damage to bedding or flooring, while it caused minor burn injuries in two of the instances reported.
The affected hotspots are oval dark navy devices imported by Franklin Wireless Corp, according to the notice published by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. They were sold online and at Verizon and other retail stores nationwide from April 2017 through March 2021, and they were also issued to students in certain school districts. The hotspots were sold with a charger that has a sticker on the wire stating: Compatible: FWC MHS900L, Model: FWCR900TVL, DC151030.
In case you do have affected hotspot, turn it off and keep it in a place with good ventilation. You can still use it if you absolutely need to, but the carrier has listed a number of steps you should follow for your own safety. First, you should plug it in after switching it on to receive two over-the-air software updates, which enable its identifying number to be displayed on the screen and prevent it from charging while it’s plugged in and powered on. You should leave it plugged in while you’re using it and then make sure it’s switched off and unplugged after you’re done.
Verizon will replace your device for free, but you have to contact the carrier to get one and to get a return envelope for your old hotspot. You can call 855-205-2627 from 8 AM to 10 PM ET to process the return or do it online through the carrier’s official Ellipsis Jetpack recall page.