Sales numbers for the GoPro Hero line of cameras has been declining since 2014 while sales of consumer drones have steadily climbed upwards. Hoping to bring in sales for their line of cameras, GoPro developed the Karma drone to draw in a growing number of enthusiasts. Unfortunately, Karma drones have begun falling out of the sky and GoPro has issued a recall.
As it stands now, the drones can lose power at any time during operation. Every Karma drone sold since October 23rd, (every drone on the market) is affected. About 2,500 Karma drones have been sold to date, and so far no injuries or property damage have been reported from the defect.
Drones with the problem seem to follow a pattern: they take off, fly for one to three minutes, and then the motors cut out. A video of the event from the Drone’s own point of view can be seen here. GoPro is working with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the cause.
The drones had production problems before release, which set back retail distribution. These problems were mentioned during the earnings call last week, but didn’t include the power issues or plans for a recall. CEO Nick Woodman said “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.”
“GoPro is not offering exchanges for a fixed model, and will resume shipments after the issue has been resolved.”
Recalled drones can be returned to GoPro directly or to the location of purchase, for a full refund. GoPro is not offering exchanges for a fixed model, and will resume shipments after the issue has been resolved. Note that if you bought a Karma model with a camera, you must return the camera and the other packaged accessories with your drone. This event follows a terrible third quarter for GoPro, who is more dependent than ever on the holiday season.