GoPro, a company that can little afford more bad news, has today announced the recall of all of its Karma drones, stating that the device can spontaneously lose power during flight and needs immediate repair.
Every Karma drone that’s been sold since release is affected, meaning that up to 2,500 units need to be recalled. “GoPro is committed to providing our customers with great product experiences,” said an official statement by the company. “To honor this commitment, we have recalled Karma until we resolve a performance issue related to a loss of power during operation. We plan to resume shipment of Karma once the issue is addressed.”
The timing of the announcement is conspicuous. With all eyes on the US Presidential election today, there is a possibility that the news will pass under the radar for many consumers. There were concerns around production issues during an earning call last week, but no mention of a recall was made.
“We are working in close coordination with both the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Federal Aviation Administration,” said GoPro CEO Nick Woodman. “We are very sorry to have inconvenienced our customers and we are taking every step to make the return and refund process as easy as possible.”
For those who have purchased a GoPro Karma, units can be returned directly to GoPro or to the retailer where they were purchased. GoPro is apparently still working to resolve the power failure issue, as right now they will only offer full refunds rather than exchanges. Replacements will be issued to customers for the US$799 drone “as soon as the issue is resolved.”
The timing of the recall could hardly be worse for the company, with stiff competition from DJI’s Mavic and falling consumer confidence both negatively affecting GoPro’s stock price in recent weeks. It is believed that the holiday sales period will be crucial for GoPro, and with the Karma now off the shelves indefinitely, 2017 looks far from promising.