On Tuesday evening, GoPro announced a total recall of its new Karma drone. Out of the approximately 2,500 drones sold since October 23, “a very small number" of them have reportedly lost power during operation, GoPro said in a statement.
The recall is a major speed bump for GoPro, which spent several years developing the much-anticipated Karma, its first drone. The result was nice, but far from revolutionary. Its key accomplishment was packaging existing drone and stabilizing technologies into one relatively small package. In September, I wrote about the device's biggest strength—the detachable, handheld stabilizer, called the Grip, which comes with the Karma but can also be bought separately. GoPro is asking those who bought the Karma to return the entire package.
The action-cam manufacturer has been beset by bad news lately. The Karma, announced September 19, was already at least a year late, with the launch reportedly waylaid by development issues. And a few days after the October launch of the Karma, DJI announced its Mavic Pro drone, a smaller rival with a longer battery life and a bigger operating range, which sent GoPro’s stock tumbling.
Last week, GoPro revealed another quarterly loss and is expected to stay in the red throughout next year. The Karma was touted to investors as a product that would counteract slipping profits, especially with the approaching holidays. The recall will likely dampen those projections.
If you own one of the drones, follow these recall instructions.