Verizon announces recall of hotspot devices due to potential safety risk

The Verizon corporation recently announced plans to recall over 2 million Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspot devices due to a risk that the lithium-ion battery in the devices could overheat posing a potential burn or fire hazard.

As the safety of our students and staff at Los Angeles Unified is paramount, we take this recall very seriously and are working in close partnership with Verizon to identify and change out devices for new devices in the safest and most efficient way possible.

If you have immediate questions or would like to arrange to exchange a device immediately, please contact our IT Asset Management team for assistance.

The company recently deployed software updates that can be installed over-the-air to devices as a means of reducing risk while working to replace all devices affected by the recall.

In order to ensure devices have received these updates, users should ensure they are plugged in, powered on, and connected to the Verizon network. Step-by-step instructions are are available from Verizon.

We are in the process of developing a support system to facilitate collection of recalled devices and replace with new devices at all LAUSD schools, while ensuring all transactions are effectively documented in our district’s Remedy asset management system of record. We will be fine-tuning the details of this process and communicating regularly with the instructional device managers (IDMs) assigned to every school.

We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to ensure all 70,000 Verizon hotspots in the district are recalled and replaced on or before the end of the school year, June 11.

Please contact Verizon at 800-540-4263 with any questions or concerns you may have. The company has also published an FAQ document to provide more information about the recall effort.

Recommended information for parents/guardians

Verizon has provided recommended language in English and Spanish to share with parents/guardians. Please feel free to tailor this information for your school communities.

Message to Parents in English

Verizon has issued a recall in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for the Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspot devices in use for distance learning. Over the last several weeks, they were made aware that the lithium-ion battery in the hotspots can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard.

We will be working with Verizon as quickly and efficiently as possible to exchange all Ellipsis Jetpack devices that were issued by the school for an Orbic Speed mobile hotspot, free of charge.

If your device is currently turned off, please turn it on so that the Ellipsis Jetpack can receive two (2) over-the-air, automatic software updates that will (a) enable the device’s identifying number to be viewed on its scrolling screen to help facilitate its exchange and (b) prevent the device from charging while the device is plugged in and powered on. You will know the software update has been applied when you see the device’s identifying number scrolling across its screen. After the software update is applied, users should leave the device powered on while it is plugged in. When not in use, the device should be turned off, unplugged from its power source, and securely stored until you receive your replacement device and packaging to return the Ellipsis Jetpack safely.

If you have immediate questions or would like to arrange to exchange a device immediately, please contact our IT Asset Management team at ITAssetMgmt@lausd.net for assistance.

As a reminder, and to help promote the safe operation of all devices, please follow these best practices:

  • When not in use, turn the device off and unplug it.
  • Place your device on a flat, solid and sturdy surface such as a floor or table.
  • For proper ventilation, do not use the device in a bed, sofa, chair or other soft surface, and ensure your device is not covered by a pillow, blanket or other item.
  • Keep devices near room temperature when in use.
  • Use only approved charging cables, including the cable provided.
  • Do not expose the units to extreme temperatures for extended periods of time.
  • Do not expose the unit or its battery to water or other liquids.
  • Do not drop the units and do not insert foreign objects into the battery or unit.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. If you have any questions or concerns about the technology issued to you, please contact your school for support.

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Parent letter en español

Estimados padres,

Verizon en cooperación con la Comisión de Seguridad de Productos para el Consumidor de los EE. UU. ha emitido el retiro del mercado de los dispositivos de punto de acceso móvil Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack que se utilizan para el aprendizaje a distancia. Durante las últimas semanas, se les informó que la batería de iones de litio en los puntos de acceso móvil puede sobrecalentarse, lo que representa un riesgo de incendio y quemaduras.

Estamos trabajando con Verizon de la manera más rápida y eficiente posible para intercambiar todos los dispositivos Ellipsis Jetpack que fueron emitidos por la escuela por un punto de acceso móvil Orbic Speed, sin ningún costo.

Si su dispositivo está apagado actualmente, enciéndalo para que el Ellipsis Jetpack pueda recibir dos (2) actualizaciones automáticas de software de forma inalambrica que (a) permitirán que el número de identificación del dispositivo se vea en su pantalla de desplazamiento para ayudar a facilitar su intercambio y (b) evitar que el dispositivo se cargue mientras está enchufado y encendido. Sabrá que se ha aplicado la actualización del software cuando vea el número de identificación del dispositivo en la pantalla. Una vez aplicada la actualización del software, los usuarios deben dejar el dispositivo encendido mientras está enchufado. Cuando no esté en uso, el dispositivo debe apagarse, desenchufarse de su fuente de carga y almacenarse de forma segura hasta que reciba el dispositivo de reemplazo y el empaque para realizar la devolución del Ellipsis Jetpack de forma segura.

Si tiene Ud. preguntas inmediates o desea hacer arreglos para intercambiar un dispositivo de inmediato, favor de mandar un mensaje a ITAssetMgmt@lausd.net para obtener ayuda.

Como un recordatorio y para ayudar a promover el funcionamiento seguro de todos los dispositivos, siga estas recomendaciones:

  • Cuando no esté en uso, apague y desenchufe su dispositivo.
  • Coloque su dispositivo sobre una superficie plana, sólida y resistente, como un piso o una mesa.
  • Para una ventilación óptima, no utilice el dispositivo sobre una cama, sofá, silla u otra superficie suave. Y asegúrese de que su dispositivo no esté cubierto por una almohada, manta u otro artículo.
  • Mantenga los dispositivos a temperatura ambiente cuando estén en uso.
  • Utilice solo cargadores aprobados, incluido el cable proporcionado.
  • Desenchufe su dispositivo una vez que esté completamente cargado. Los dispositivos no deben dejarse enchufados de forma continua.
  • No exponga las unidades a temperaturas extremas durante períodos prolongados.
  • No exponga la unidad o su batería al agua u otros líquidos.
  • No deje caer las unidades y no inserte ningún objeto dentro de la batería o la unidad.

Gracias por su paciencia y comprensión. Si tiene alguna pregunta o inquietud sobre la tecnología que se le proporcionó, comuníquese con su escuela para obtener ayuda.


Firma

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