skier holding up pieps dsp pro transceiver with two other skiers in background
Photo credit: PIEPS

Black Diamond Initiates Recall for PIEPS DSP Avalanche Transceivers

PIEPS and Black Diamond have issued an immediate recall for the PIEPS DSP avalanche transceivers in Europe and North America. Read on for details.

Following numerous consumer reports of faulty units, Black Diamond Equipment will be launching a Fast Track voluntary product recall program for its PIEPS DSP avalanche transceivers.

Black Diamond doesn’t manufacture the PIEPS beacons, but BD is the North American distributor for the European PIEPS brand. “As NA Distributor of PIEPS, BD has officially initiated talks with U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) for a voluntary product recall of the PIEPS DSP Pro, Sport and Ice avy transceivers,” Black Diamond wrote in a press release.

PIEPS transceiver recall

The exact model names included in the recall are the PIEPS DSP Sport, DSP Pro, and DSP Pro Ice.

Note: The recall process for the PIEPS DSP beacons in Europe, Central and South America, and Pacific Asia started today. April Update: The recall process in the U.S. has now been approved by the CPSC.

Faulty PIEPS DSP Avalanche Transceivers

The brand received numerous reports from users that its PIEPS DSP avalanche transceivers were faulty. Specifically, the switch that turns on the transceiver’s signal can slide out of transceiving mode without warning. The issue lies with the slide lock mechanism, which can wear down and slide in and out of transceiving mode.

One pro skier, Nick McNutt, was caught in an avalanche in March 2020 and had been using a PIEPS DSP beacon. He was buried for around 5 minutes. He and several other skiers who had been at the scene spoke out on social media about the transceiver issues.

After other reports in 2020, more consumers chimed in online that they had similar issues. Some reports of the faulty model date back to 2017, most notably when Corey Lynam was killed in an avalanche near Whistler that year.

Since concerns arose, PIEPS has issued numerous statements, including, “We have concluded that PIEPS beacons perform above industry standards.” In October of 2020, PIEPS and Black Diamond both made statements offering to replace and upgrade consumers’ models free of charge.

Here’s PIEPS’ most recent statement: “Dear customers, followers, and friends, PIEPS announces a Voluntary Product Correction program to enhance the product safety of its DSP avalanche transceivers.”

Recall Information: Europe, Canada, and U.S.

European consumers can begin the recall process today. For those based outside North America, consumers can send units in for recall by visiting the PIEPS recall program site here or contacting the brand at 1-800-775-5552 or support@pieps.com.

We will update readers and this story as more information becomes available in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we’d recommend not using affected models as your primary avalanche rescue beacon.

Editor’s Update: as of April 12, 2021 the Black Diamond PIEPS Transceiver Product recall is official for US and Canadian consumers. 

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Mary Murphy
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Mary is based out of GearJunkie's Denver, CO office. She has a degree in English and Journalism, and been writing professionally for over four years. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.