GoPro, Already In Trouble, Recalls Its New Karma Drone

LOS ANGELES – As if GoPro didn’t enough problems.

The company, which has seen its stock slide and sales tumble, is recalling the 2,500 units sold of the new Karma drone, which was introduced just a few weeks ago to positive reviews.

This is the product GoPro had put much of its hopes for in the fourth quarter on advancing sales again.

GoPro said a “very small number” of units had lost power during operation, so it was recalling all of them to fix the issue. Most GoPro sales are from the company website, but Karma was also in stock at Best Buy, the physical and online retailer.

Several Karma owners have taken to YouTube to post crash videos of their unit.

The company didn’t offer a timetable for when – or if–Karma would return to shelves, saying it was focused on solving the problem first.

Charles Anderson, an analyst with Doughtery & Co., downgraded GoPro stock Wednesday to “sell” from “neutral.”

“We have seen a series of stumbles,” he says. “They have had a cascading effect.”

GoPro’s problems started in 2015 when it released the new Hero Session camera for $399, saw poor sales and lowered it to $299 and then $199. Since then, there have been poor quarters for the company–most recently GoPro saw its stock slide 20% when it reported that sales had fallen from $240.5 million in third quarter from $400 million in the year-ago quarter.

GoPro has announced layoffs, product delays (the Karma was originally slated for summer) and manufacturing issues for the new Hero 5 camera.

GoPro said owners could return their units to the company for a full refund and that replacement units are not being offered. A company spokeswoman said GoPro would pay for the shipping.

“Safety is our top priority,” said GoPro CEO Nick Woodman, in a statement. “We are working in close coordination with both the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Federal Aviation Administration. 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.”

The Karma sold for $1,100 and included a bundle with the Hero 5 GoPro camera, and a steadicam like Grip. Those two aren’t being recalled, but if they were purchased with the bundle, they must go back as well, says GoPro.

To consumers who say their Karma is working fine, GoPro says they can’t keep them–“we are asking all customers to immediately stop using the product and participate in the recall.”

GoPro stock is selling for $10.29 Wednesday, down 57 cents from the previous day.

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