KEY POINTS

  • Facebook has received reports of skin irritation linked to the Oculus 2 foam facial interface
  • The company said the "vast majority" of cases were mild
  • Customers with affected units can get a free silicone cover for the foam interface

Facebook has recalled about four million units of the Quest 2 Removable Foam Facial Interface after the company received reports of skin irritation from users.

"As more people started using Quest 2, 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," Facebook said.

Facial skin irritation issues included reports of rashes, burning, swelling, itching, bumps and hives, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) noted in a recall alert. The company has received 5,716 reports of skin irritation incidents and about 45 users required medical attention.

"The vast majority of cases are mild and cases should resolve on their own," the company said.

In a blog post, the head of Facebook Reality Labs, Andrew Bosworth, said the company began a thorough investigation back in December and found that its manufacturing process was safe. Experts, including dermatologists and toxicologists, pointed out that the skin irritation rate it had observed was  "in line with expectations," the executive added.

Despite the "small" rate of reports, the company is advising those who experienced skin irritation to stop using the product. It will offer a free silicone cover to Quest 2 headset and Quest 2 Fit Pack owners "globally," and even those who don't experience skin irritation can also get the Quest 2 silicone cover for free.

"Today, we're introducing a new silicone cover for all customers globally, including as part of a joint voluntary recall of the Quest 2 removable foam facial interface with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada," Bosworth said. "In addition, we've been communicating with global regulators and are taking the extra step of temporarily pausing sales of Quest 2 globally while we work to include the new silicone covers in all Quest 2 packages."

The recall affects the removable foam facial interface that comes with the Oculus Quest 2 Headsets or sold separately as "Quest 2 Standard Facial Interface" or in a "Quest 2 Fit Pack," the CPSC noted. The headset serial numbers of the affected items start with "1WMHH" and end with a number below "1264." 

The company clarified that Quest 1, Rift, Rift S and Go are not included in the recall.

Customers should not discard their current foam facial interface as they will need it to install the silicone cover. Bosworth said all Quest 2 headsets will come with the silicone cover "in every box" starting Aug. 24.

"We've been working hard to address the issue, working with experts and making adjustments to our manufacturing process, and communicating proactively with regulators," the company said. "The safety and comfort of every customer is our top priority."

VR - virtual reality Girl playing VR gaming at sunset. Photo: Vinicius "amnx" Amano / Unsplash