GoPro Recalls Karma Drone Over In-Flight Power Loss Fears, Only 2500 Units Sold To Date

Uh oh Houston, we have a problem. Er, make that San Mateo, the city in California where action camera maker GoPro is headquartered. GoPro has also begun dabbling in drones, though things have gotten off to a somewhat rocky start. By that we mean the company has issued a recall for its first drone, called Karma, while it figures out and fixes an issue that can cause it to lose power during flight.

The good news for GoPro is that the market isn't flush with Karma drones. Only around 2,500 units have been purchased by consumers since the Karma launched last month, so this is far from a disastrous situation. Even better is that GoPro has not received any reports of injuries or property damage, so the financial fallout from this recall should be fairly small.

GoPro Karma Underside

"Safety is our top priority," said GoPro founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman. "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 Product 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."

Replacement units are not being offered at this time, though GoPro says it plans to continue selling Karma drones once it figures out and fixes the problem. Until then, GoPro is advising current owners to return their Karma drone to wherever they purchased it from to receive a full refund. Even if the drone appears to be working normally, GoPro asks that customers still stop using it immediately and participate in the recall.

GoPro Karma Ocean

While it appears GoPro is able to nip this situation in the bud with a minimal financial impact, the timing isn't the greatest. GoPro is coming off a disastrous quarter in which it posted a $104 million loss, compared to an $18.8 million profit in the same quarter a year prior. Part of GoPro's strategy to get back in black is by expanding into the drone category.

"Looking forward to 2017, we expect to return to profitability, driven by the strength of our new products, double digit revenue growth and annual operating expenses of approximately $650 million," Woodman said at the time.