In collaboration with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Facebook announced on Tuesday that it is temporarily suspending sales of its Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headsets and recalling a component in approximately 4 million of them.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the company is voluntarily recalling the “removable foam facial interfaces” for the devices, which are a piece that sits around a user’s eyes and nose and acts as a cushion between the headset and their face, after more than 5,000 users reported skin irritation and 45 users required medical attention. Rashes, swelling, burning, itching, and hives were among the reactions, according to the CDC.
It’s a rare recall for Facebook (FB), as the Consumer Product Safety Commission lists no other recalls for the company. Oculus headsets are an important part of Facebook’s effort to popularize virtual reality technology, even though the company is still thought of as primarily a software company. Aside from headsets, Facebook has spent years perfecting VR controllers and encouraging content creators to create games and other VR experiences.
“As more people got into VR with Quest 2, we started receiving reports that a very small percentage of Quest 2 customers experienced some skin irritation after using the removable foam facial interface,” Facebook reality labs head Andrew Bosworth wrote in an open letter to Oculus users on Tuesday.
Around 4 million foam inserts for Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets are being voluntarily recalled by Facebook.
In September, Facebook released the Quest 2 headsets, a smaller and less expensive version of its predecessor. In a blog post in December, the company stated that a small percentage of users had skin issues after using the device, and that it would look into it.
In April, the company posted an update saying that its investigation did not show “any contamination or unexpected substances in our manufacturing process,” but that it “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.”
Customers who purchase an Oculus Quest 2 headset, which costs between $300 and $400 depending on storage options, will receive the facial foam inserts. The inserts are available separately or as part of a “fit pack.”
Customers can request a free silicone cover that fits over the foam facial interface from Facebook instead of sending anything back to the company. Sales of the Quest 2 headsets are also being temporarily halted for a few weeks so that the silicone cover can be included in the box when it ships to customers.
“The team and I are committed to ensuring the quality of our products and the ongoing support and success of our developer community, with your safety and comfort as our top priority,” Bosworth said Tuesday. “The free silicone cover is part of that commitment.”