CPSC, Snap Recall Camera Drone Batteries Over Fire Hazard

Snapchat parent Snap, together with the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), is recalling the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries sold with Snap’s pocket-sized Pixy Flying Camera. The Pixy camera itself is no longer on the market. The batteries were sold separately and paired with the Pixy, which takes pictures and videos and measures about five inches long by four inches wide.

“Consumers should immediately stop using the Pixy Flying Camera, remove the battery and stop charging it,” CPSC stated in its recall notice dated Feb. 1. “Consumers should then visit www.pixy.com for instructions on how to participate in the recall, receive a refund of the purchase price, and dispose of the battery in accordance with local and state regulations. The Pixy flying camera and other Pixy accessories are also separately eligible for a refund of the purchase price.”

The reason for the recall according to the notice was Snap’s receiving four reports of the lithium-ion battery overheating and bulging, resulting in one minor battery fire and one minor injury. Both the Pixy and its rechargeable batteries were manufactured in China and imported by Snap. Approximately 71,000 battery units are covered by the recall, according to CPSC.

Not Long Lived

Pixy drones were sold online at Pixy.com and Amazon.com from May 2022 through December 2023 for between $185 and $250 for the Pixy Flying Camera or “Flight Pack” bundle; between $40 and $50 for the extra charger/battery; and between $16 and $20 for the battery sold separately.

Launched in April 2022, the tech press was already reporting four months later that Snap was halting Pixy sales. “Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has apparently relayed the message that the hardware is one causality of re-prioritization, amid broader economic concerns,” TechCrunch reported. It further labelled the selfie drone a “brightly colored toy,” compared to the sophistication and years of development behind other market offerings.

“The Pixy was always limited in functionality. It was designed to be used without a controller, or even a memory card. But CEO Evan Spiegel had high hopes for the project, once claiming the market for personal drones was even bigger than camera glasses, the other hardware category Snap has stumbled through,” TechCrunch said.

Consumers can contact Snap’s recall hotline at 800-269-6990 24 hours a day, or email at [email protected] or online at support.pixy.com/recall or go to www.pixy.com and click on “Recalls” at the bottom of the page for more information. Snap is contacting all known purchasers directly, CPSC says.