Back in December, Facebook acknowledged that a small number of Oculus Quest 2 users experienced some kind of skin irritation due to the foam cushion in its headsets. Today, the company announced it’s temporarily halting sales of the Quest 2 and issued a joint voluntary recall with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada for the removable part. The good news is all Quest 2 owners can request a free silicone mask replacement.
“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 that comes with the Quest 2 and is also sold separately, including as part of the Fit Pack,” Andrew Bosworth, head of Facebook Reality Labs, wrote in an Oculus blog. “While the rate of reports is small and the majority of reported cases are minor, we’re committed to ensuring our products are safe and comfortable for everyone who uses them.”
According to the CPSC, roughly 4 million units were being recalled and the regulator had received roughly 5,716 reports of skin irritation — 45 of which required medical attention. The agency’s site includes a chart with all the affected headsets, SKUs, and serial numbers. To request a free silicone cover, users can sign into their Oculus account, go to the “My Devices” menu, and select the “Request Silicone Facial Interface Cover” button. From there, all you have to do is enter your shipping information. Business owners who have a large number of Quest 2 headsets are encouraged to reach out to Facebook’s Enterprise Support.
Facebook also said that out of an abundance of caution, it is working with global regulators to pause global sales of Quest 2 units until new silicone covers could be included with every package. If you were mulling buying a Quest 2, the good news is you don’t have to wait very long. Sales are expected to resume beginning August 24. As an added bonus, Oculus is boosting minimum storage up to 128GB without increasing the $US299 ($406) pricetag.
Back in April, Oculus published an update stating it had conducted an in-depth investigation into the issue and consulted with both dermatologists and toxicologists. It concluded that the irritation wasn’t the result of any contamination or foreign substances in its manufacturing process, and emphasised that affected customers were a “very small percentage of Quest 2 users.”
Irritation is a common risk anytime something comes in contact with your skin, however, in these cases it wasn’t like the pressure indentations that people get after a long VR session. Initially, Facebook described it as redness, bumps, or swelling. (You can see a picture of an affected customer in this UploadVR blog.) The company also compared it to irritation caused by cosmetics, skincare, and other types of headgear, including motorcycle helmets, ski goggles, and glasses.
Needless to say, if you’ve experienced any irritation you should stop using the device in the meantime. If you haven’t, however, Facebook says you can continue using the device and can request a silicone cover.