Here's how Facebook's Oculus Quest 2 recall affects you (and why it's happening)

Quest 2 Foam Pad
Quest 2 Foam Pad (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Windows Central)

You might have heard that Facebook has halted sales of the Oculus Quest 2 for a month and issued a voluntary recall. You might have also heard about a 128GB Oculus Quest 2 that's replacing the 64B SKU without raising the $299 price. But why, you ask, and what do you need to do about it? Here's everything you need to know about the Oculus Quest 2 recall and foam replacement program.

What is happening?

Back in December 2020, some users reported skin irritation with the foam pad included in the box with the Quest 2. After an internal investigation, Facebook found that claims of contact dermatitis on the portions of some users' faces that came into contact with the foam pad were true. After consulting with dermatologists, it was determined that this was not an allergy, rather, a design flaw that made the foam pads a bit too abrasive for sensitive skin areas.

Facebook followed up this investigation with a voluntary program where users could request replacement pads based on the new design if their Quest 2 was manufactured before Jan. 4, 2021. Since then, reports of irritation continued to trickle in and Amazon EU pulled the Quest 2 from its store in May following a number of similar complaints.

After Facebook consulted with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada, it decided to issue a formal recall to retailers on July 27, 2021. Quest 2 sales have been ceased until a proper replacement SKU is available for retailers to once again sell. Facebook is taking these units back from retailers and including a new silicone cover in the box — the same silicone cover that current Quest 2 owners can request for free.

Facebook says that retailers will have new units with a silicone cover pack-in available for sale on Aug. 24, 2021. Additionally, the 64GB SKU has been officially retired and is being replaced by a 128GB SKU with double the storage for the same $299 price.

Who is affected by the recall?

In a nutshell, if you're an Oculus Quest 2 owner, if you've purchased additional foam face pads, or if you've purchased a Quest 2 Fit Pack — that's the two-pack of foam facial interfaces with lens protectors — you're eligible to receive a replacement at no cost to you.

Folks who were considering purchasing an Oculus Quest 2 can do one of two things: purchase a second-hand Quest 2 unit and request a new foam pad from Facebook, or wait for the new models to show up at retailers on Aug. 24, 2021. If you can wait, you'll be able to get a storage upgrade for no additional cost since Facebook will be selling the new 128GB SKU at the same $299 price that the 64GB SKU originally sold for.

How many people are affected?

Quest 2 Foam Pad With Silicone Cover

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

At this time, Facebook is not releasing numbers but says "a very small percentage of Quest 2 customers" experienced skin irritation after using the foam facial interface. Facebook is performing this voluntary replacement program in what it calls a proactive manner to ensure it complies with regulatory authorities.

The official USCPSC recall page states that four million units fall under the recall, and that number is most certainly higher worldwide if Facebook extends the program to all customers around the world. Facebook is likely doing this to avoid further problems as the Quest install base continues to grow.

What you can do about it?

Vr Cover Quest 2 Silicone Cover Orange

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Facebook recommends that all Quest 2 users discontinue the use of the foam pad by itself at this time, regardless of whether or not you've experienced skin irritation as a result of coming into contact with the foam pad.

If you're an Oculus Quest 2 owner and want to get your foam face pad replaced, here's how to request a replacement silicone cover for your Oculus Quest 2. The steps are simple and don't cost you a penny; just your time. This cover will fit over your existing foam pad and is significantly softer than the foam.

If you purchased any additional foam face pads from Oculus or bought the Quest Fit Pack at any point in time, Facebook is replacing these items through the same replacement page linked above. The Quest Fit Pack shipped with two different size foam pads, which will each need their own cover.

If you've already taken our advice and swapped out that foam pad with one of the best Quest 2 face covers, then there's nothing else you need to do unless you just want a new silicone cover from Facebook. Extra silicone covers can come in handy when you're sharing a VR headset, so there's no harm in requesting one if you're a Quest 2 owner.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu