Recall Warning: Black Diamond PIEPS Avalanche Beacon

Black Diamond is one of the best if not the best manufacturer of outdoor gear for extreme conditions. Their detailed recall notice is one of the best I’ve seen for any manufacturer of any equipment.

Their explanation of risk severity is this:

We’ve identified a specific issue with the Pieps Micro family beacons where the front foil containing the buttons could be damaged during the manufacturing process thereby affecting the electronics of the device. If this were to occur, it could result in the beacon not being able to switch into the SEARCH mode for the Button and Race models, and loss of the Mark function for the Sensor model.

And the risk likelihood is this:

  • PIEPS Powder BT, Pieps Pro BT, Pieps DSP Pro, Pieps DSP Sport, Pieps DSP Ice, Black Diamond Recon, Black Diamond Guide: As of April 28, 2022, 0.07% of all beacons sold globally have been reported with this issue. In North America the reported instances are lower, at 0.02%.
  • PIEPS Micro BT Button / Race / Sensor: As of April 28, 2022, 0.53% of all beacons sold globally have been reported with this issue. 0.22% reported in North America.

A complete recall for a safety device with a reported failure rate of 0.07% (or even 0.02%) is the right thing to do, to say the least. They’ve not only triaged the manufacturing flaw for units in the field and issued a recall with easy instructions, they blocked all shipment until resolution.

We have pulled all current inventory and are performing a thorough inspection, including testing every single unit before placing them into the marketplace.

We have worked with our manufacturer(s) to identify and correct the material handling / assembly issue and are confident that this issue has been resolved.

[…] We issued a Notice for Safety Check and urge you to follow the instructions to check if you have an affected unit. We are working to repair or replace all affected beacons as quickly as possible. If you do not feel comfortable checking your own beacon, send it in and we will check it for you.

All affected units sent in will be replaced or repaired free of charge.

Well done Black Diamond.

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