Remember when we called Razer’s Zephyr face mask one of the most disappointing gadgets of 2021? It’s even more disappointing when you realize that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleges the company never even submitted the face mask for testing three years later. The FTC wants Razer to pay back over a million dollars for falsely advertising its garish, RGB-laden face mask and additional fees for misleading buyers about how protective the Zephyr would be.

The FTC states its complaint against Razer—or, as the organization calls the company, the “sellers of a supposed N95-grade face mask called the Zephyr,” Razer must pay more than $1.1 million in refunds to folks who bought the face mask in the U.S., according to a press release published Monday. The agency also wants Razer to pay a civil penalty of $100,00 for “unsubstantiated health claims about protective health equipment.”

“These businesses falsely claimed, in the midst of a global pandemic, that their face mask was the equivalent of an N95 certified respirator,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

We reached out to Razer for comment on the FTC’s claim. The company’s statement is as follows:

We disagree with the FTC’s allegations and did not admit to any wrongdoing as part of the settlement. It was never our intention to mislead anyone, and we chose to settle this matter to avoid the distraction and disruption of litigation and continue our focus on creating great products for gamers. Razer cares deeply about our community and is always looking to deliver technology in new and relevant ways.

The Razer Zephyr was conceived to offer a different and innovative face covering option for the community. The FTC’s claims against Razer concerned limited portions of some of the statements relating to the Zephyr. More than two years ago, Razer proactively notified customers that the Zephyr was not a N95 mask, stopped sales, and refunded customers.

The N95 grade is certified by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or NIOSH. The FTC says Razer’s $100 Zephyr was not certified. At the time, marketing claimed the face mask was N95-grade, a particularly major sell considering the pandemic was still rolling through a significant part of the world’s population. When YouTuber Naomi Wu began investigating Razer’s claims, Razer had finally rescinded mentions of N95-level protections from its advertising.


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