GoPro gets grounded as it recalls Karma drones

GoPro just can’t seem to find a way to keep from crashing to the ground.

The latest woe for the sport-camera maker came Wednesday morning when GoPro said it was recalling all of its recently released Karma drones, the company’s long-awaited and flying device that works with GoPro’s latest line of cameras. The Karma had only just gone on sale on Oct. 23, and GoPro was hoping the product would be a hit during the Christmas and holiday shopping season.

The reason for the recall: reports that Karmas were losing power in flight and then crashing to the ground. GoPro said in a statement that it made the recall after discovering that “in a small number of cases, Karma units lost power during operation.”

That is not the kind of statement you want to make about your brand new product that is meant to help revive your company after more than a year of disappointing revenue and earnings performances.

GoPro used its website to provide information on how Karma owners can return their drones. The company also said that even if someone has a Karma that is working fine, they should return it to where they purchased the product. GoPro added that it is working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate the problem, and it plans on making Karma available once the issues with the drones have been resolved.

The recall is seen as only adding to concerns about GoPro’s credibility after the company gave a disappointing third-quarter report last week in which it swung to a loss of $115.6 million, or 74 cents a share, on revenue of $240.6 million, from a profit of $18.8 million, or 13 cents a share, on revenue of $400.3 million a year ago.

Word of the recall helped pull GoPro shares down by 6 percent to $10.21 Wednesday.

Photo: A GoPro drone equipped with a Hero 5 camera. (Courtesy GoPro)


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