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GoPro recalls all Karma drones over safety concerns

A number of them are spontaneously losing power while in use.
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If you recently picked up one of GoPro's long-in-the-works Karma drones, you should probably return it. The company has issued a recall for all devices (around 2,500 according to internal estimates) because "in a very small number of cases" the Karmas lost power while in use. Exchanges won't be offered, and GoPro says to take your device back to the point of purchase for a full refund. Once the issue has been worked out, shipment and sales of the drone will resume.

GoPro's FAQ page for the recall offers a few more details. No, you don't need the original receipt. Yes, every part of the drone needs to be returned (including the Hero5 Black and Karma Grip, which aren't affected) for the refund. You can get your money back on a GoPro Care purchase in addition to any Karma accessories. Even if yours is acting normally, GoPro still wants it back.

"Safety is our top priority," CEO Nicholas Woodman said in a statement. "A very small number of Karma 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. We are working in close coordination with both the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission and Federal Aviation Administration. 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."

This comes at a particularly unfortunate time for GoPro. The company was banking hard on the Karma and Hero 5 cameras bringing it back in the black following a drop off in its stock prices. "Looking forward to 2017, we expect a return to profitability, driven by the strength of our new products," Woodman said on an investor's call last month. Production issues and an almost $160 million drop in year-over-year sales caused the stock to trade below $10 per-share (it topped out around $80 per-share two years ago).

The market already seems to be reacting. At 4pm Eastern, it was trading for $10.86 per share, but it's dropped over six percent already, down to $10.13 per-share.

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