Black Diamond, Pieps and Poc have issued a recall of all their first-generation JetForce avalanche packs due to some technical issues, where in some cases, the airbag will fail to deploy or the system will shut down.
There have been no reported accidents or injuries resulting from the malfunctions and a firmware update is available to fix the problem, officials said.
Black Diamond made the announcement Thursday in conjunction with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. It is asking customers and retailers to return the packs for repair by visiting: http://www.jetforcerecall.com. Retailers must return the packs for repair as federal law bars any person from selling products publically-announced as a recall by the manufacturer or commission.
“This firmware update, and the shipping to and from our service centers, will be done at no cost to our customers,”officials said. “All JetForce Avalanche Airbag Packs sold between November 15, 2014 and July 7, 2015 should be returned to one of our global service centers.”
The returns should include the entire pack, device and battery. Officials said the time-of-repair should run about 10 business days.
The units can be identified by a manufacturing date code printed on a label located inside the front pocket (see photo below). Units bearing date codes from 4275 to 5077 are subject to the recall.
The affected units were include the following model names:
>> Black Diamond Pilot 11 JetForce Pack
>> Black Diamond Halo 28 JetForce Pack
>> Black Diamond Saga 40 JetForce Pack
>> PIEPS JetForce Tour Rider 24
>> PIEPS JetForce Tour Pro 34
>> POC Thorax 11 Backpack
New JetForce Packs shipped out after Aug. 1, 2015 will have the latest firmware and are up-to-date. These packs will have a serial number/barcode and are not affected by the recall. For any uncertainties, retailers and consumers can email: email@example.com
For those interested in the more technical details of the issues, there are actually two possible safety risks that the firmware update will repair. “The first is a loss of synchronization between motor control and the electric fan motor, which creates a system error that shuts down the fan motor,” officials said. “This can result in the failure of the system to deploy when the handle is pulled. The second defect is very high-voltage electrostatic discharge, which resets the system to the ‘off’ position. This can result in the JetForce controller disarming after the system has been successfully armed.”
Less than 1 percent of the JetForce packs on the market reported the issues, officials said, but users cannot diagnose the problem themselves and even if the pack seems to be working fine, if it is on the recall, it should be returned for the fix.
“We are all deeply committed to the safety of our users, and humbled by the trust our customers — in many cases friends and family members — place in the equipment we produce,” Black Diamond President and CEO Peter Metcalf said. “On behalf of all of us at Black Diamond, PIEPS and POC, I’d like to thank all of the athletes, snow-safety professionals and other early adopters of JetForce for their patience as we bring this revolutionary technology to market. We are committed to making these updates, returning your pack to you swiftly, and continuing to provide our customers the very best in backcountry equipment and service.”