Backcountry Access recalling airbags
Last Updated: 15:57 December 2, 2013
As part of the recall, Boulder-based Backcountry Access is giving customers a free trigger mechanism upgrade that they can install themselves on their avalanche airbags, said Dane Olson, an inside sales and technical service representative at the company.
The avalanche airbag models Float 18, 22, 30, 32, 36 and Throttle all are affected by the recall, Olson said. Only the company's original avalanche airbag product - which had a different opening mechanism than the other products - is not affected by the recall, Olson said. He estimated the company's recall cost in the "double digits," without discussing specifics.
"Everybody is happy about the fact that we acknowledged the issue, and we're providing a free upgrade," Olson said. "We don't want to ignore something that's a safety issue."
While it's "very unlikely" the existing trigger mechanism can fall off when it's pulled, if it does, the airbag would not open, Olson said. As many as 11,000 of the avalanche airbag products are affected by the recall, he said. The avalanche airbags are stored in backpacks and are inflated when the wearer is caught in an avalanche. The idea is that the airbag helps avalanche victims stay near the top of a snow slide, where they potentially can be extracted by rescuers more quickly.
A few customers who practiced deploying the airbags noticed the potential defect and notified Backcountry Access, Olson said. The company also upgraded its entire for-sale inventory in retail stores starting July 1, after the company engineering team came up with the trigger mechanism upgrade, he said. The avalanche airbag products sell for about $450 to $700 in stores.
Backcountry Access has sales of more than $10 million annually and about 50 employees, Olson said. The company was acquired by K2 Sports in Seattle for an undisclosed sum in January. K2 Sports is held by Jarden Corp. (NYSE: JAH).
For more information about the recall, customers can contact Backcountry Access at 1-800-670-8735 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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