Nike, Apple settle class action suit over alleged misleading FuelBand fitness tracker claims

By Aditi Pai

Nike and Apple have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit, first filed two years ago, that claimed the companies made misleading statements about the Nike+ FuelBand's ability to track calories, steps, and NikeFuel. The lawsuit also argued that there was a failure to honor the warranty terms for Nike+ FuelBand.

Nike and Apple deny these allegations, but according to the settlement, in order to avoid further inconvenience and distraction of continued litigation, the companies have agreed to settle.

Nike will provide members of the settlement class -- consumers who purchased their Nike+ FuelBand devices between January 19, 2012 and June 17, 2015 -- either a check for $15 or a $25 gift card redeemable at Nike-owned stores and online at Members can receive one of these payments for each Nike+ FuelBand they purchased during that time period. As part of the settlement, Apple is not responsible for providing members of the class with compensation.

The law firms that sued on behalf of the class members will apply to the court for an award of $2.4 million in attorneys’ fees and costs. 

Nike has been moving away from its Nike+ FuelBand device since at least April 2014. While the Nike+ FuelBand is still available for purchase, the company hasn’t come out with a new edition in some time, and it laid off much of the device’s engineering staff last spring. Back then CNET reported, citing anonymous sources, that Nike had pulled the plug on all future iterations of the FuelBand and all future physical devices under development in its Digital Sports division. In a statement, Nike professed continued support for existing devices, but didn’t deny the charge.

This year, the company dropped “Band” from the Nike Fuel app name, further distancing the company from its device. And in March, Nike announced that users of its Nike+ Running app will now be able to pull data from other fitness devices made by Garmin, TomTom, Wahoo Fitness, and Netpulse.

Nike isn't the only fitness device company to face class action law suits, however. In May, a California man filed a class action suit against Fitbit, just days after the announcement of Fitbit’s plans for an IPO, alleging that the company’s sleep tracking is inaccurate and constitutes false advertising. Fitbit told MobiHealthNews by email that they intended to fight the lawsuit.