Facebook has temporarily halted sales of its Oculus Quest 2 headset as it takes steps to recall and replace the device's foam insert following reports it has caused facial rashes and skin irritation in some customers.
"As more people started using Quest 2," Facebook explained in its recall notice on the Oculus website, "we received reports that a very small percentage of Quest 2 customers were experiencing skin irritation after using the Quest 2 removable foam facial interface. We've been working hard to address the issue, working with experts and making adjustments to our manufacturing process, and communicating proactively with regulators."
Facebook initially announced it was investigating reports of skin irritation from Quest 2 last December, and provided an update on its findings back in April.
"We did not find any contamination or unexpected substances in our manufacturing process," it wrote at the time. "We identified a few trace substances that are normally present in the manufacturing process which could contribute to skin discomfort, and while these were already at levels below the industry standard, out of an abundance of caution we changed our process to reduce them even further."
"While the rate of reports is small and the majority of reported cases are minor," head of Facebook Reality Labs Andrew Bosworth added in fresh update earlier today, "we're committed to ensuring our products are safe and comfortable for everyone who uses them."
To that end, Facebook has implemented a voluntary recall in cooperation with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada.
In its recall alert, the CPSC says Facebook has received 5,716 reports of facial skin irritation (with reactions including rashes, swelling, burning, itching, hives, and bumps) following use of the Oculus Quest 2, and approximately 45 reports of consumers requiring medical attention. The CPSC anticipates around 4m units will be affected by the recall in the US.
As part of its action, Facebook is offering a free silicone cover - which encases the existing foam insert - to all Quest 2 headset, Quest 2 facial interface accessory, and Quest 2 Fit Pack owners. Full instructions on requesting a silicone cover are available on the Oculus website and, despite the US-focussed origins of the recall, Facebook will be shipping replacements to customers in all countries where Quest 2 is officially sold.
That's Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Facebook says all new Oculus Quest 2 units will include a silicone cover starting on 24th August. A new 128GB Oculus Quest 2 will arrive on the same day, replacing the current 64GB unit as the new base model while maintaining the device's existing $299 USD price tag.