GoPro Recalling New Karma Drone Over Power Loss Issue

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GoPro said on Tuesday that it is recalling its new Karma drone after a few units lost power during flight. The action camera maker said no property damage or injuries had been reported. The camera maker said it will issue a refund for the 2,500 drones that it has sold since the launch two weeks ago. The company is not offering replacements, reports The Wall Street Journal.

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GoPro, IFA 2015 by Janitors, Flickr

No word on what caused the power loss

GoPro did not say what had caused the power loss, but it is working in close coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on the recall. The CPSC said it does not regulate consumer drone recalls. According to a GoPro spokesman, the CPSC instructed the company to proceed with its recall. The owners of drones need to register their devices with the FAA. As of now, there has been no comment from the FAA.

Companies are required by law to declare recalls in partnership with the CPSC in most cases. In September, the Korean smartphone maker Samsung came under fire for telling customers to return their inflammable Galaxy Note 7 smartphones before letting the CPSC investigate, notes The WSJ. There were issues with the Galaxy Note 7‘s lithium-ion batteries.

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Karma recall a huge setback for GoPro

Owners can return the drones to the company or to the store where they purchased them for a refund. In a statement, Nick Woodman, chief executive of GoPro, said safety is their top priority, and only a small number of Karma drone owners have reported incidents of power failure during operation.

“We have moved quickly to recall all units of Karma and provide a full refund while we investigate the issue,” said Woodman.

GoPro has had a hard time this year with dropping sales in its core action camera business and layoffs. However, the camera maker said the sales of its cameras have not been impacted by the drone recall. The Karma, which sells for $799, represented the first major attempt by GoPro to diversify its devices beyond its core action camera line.

In May, the company said that it would delay its Karma drone in time for the winter holiday season, but the company did not give a reason why. Eventually, the drone went on sale in October.

In pre-market trading today, GoPro shares were in the red. Year to date, the stock is down almost 40%, while in the last year, it is down almost 57%.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com
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