Black Diamond has recalled 78,000 PIEPS DSP Avalanche Transceivers after a skier died in an avalanche in British Columbia. The safety devices are designed to provide a beacon if the wearer becomes trapped. But reports show that the devices can malfunction and fail, leading to the Black Diamond recall.
According to an alert posted on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) website, the problem is that the transceiver can unintentionally switch modes and fail to transmit a signal if it is not locked or installed in a harness.
When the locking fault occurs it will prevent the transceiver from sending out a signal, which can make it difficult for emergency personnel to locate a skier in the event of an avalanche. This could result in serious injuries or even death. Black Diamond said it received 65 reports of the transceiver switching modes unexpectedly, including one report of a skier who died and another skier who suffered a broken arm and other non-life-threatening injuries.
This recall covers PIEPS DSP Pro, DSP Pro Ice, and DSP Sport avalanche transceivers with neoprene carrying cases. These products were sold from January 2013 through November 2020. Under the terms of the Black Diamond recall, the company is offering a free replacement harness. In order to get one, consumers are asked to register on the Black Diamond website or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 866-306-0865.
How Do Avalanche Transceivers Work?
Avalanche transceivers are worn close to the body and continuously emit a radio signal that can be picked up by other transceivers in the area. Companions with transceivers can switch them to “search” mode to locate a buried person’s signal, and with a probe, help them pinpoint exactly where to dig. All transceivers today operate on the same international standard of 457 kHz, so you don’t need to get the same brand and/or model as others in your group.
When an avalanche occurs and someone is seriously injured, time is of the essence. The life and well-being of the injured victim could depend on these transceivers that help rescuers find the victims. When these crucial devices fail to work, the consequences can be catastrophic or even fatal.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of defective products, you may be able to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities, and pain and suffering. Families that have lost loved ones may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation as well. An experienced product defect lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families in such cases about their legal rights and options.