PIEPS and Black Diamond have issued a ‘safety check’ for many models of their avalanche beacons.
On April 16, Black Diamond and PIEPS asked owners of multiple avalanche transceivers to perform a safety check on their devices. The announcement comes almost a year after recalling some of the same equipment.
Via Instagram, Black Diamond said multiple models of its and PIEPS’ avalanche beacons exhibit “malfunctioning electronic components that may prevent [them] from switching between SEND and SEARCH modes.”
Black Diamond is still performing tests as it investigates the problem. The brand said it has “observed a small number” of the malfunctions. It asks that anyone with one of the affected beacons “immediately perform a safety inspection to ensure your beacon is functioning properly.”
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Affected beacons include:
- PIEPS Micro BT Button
- PIEPS Micro BT Race
- PIEPS Micro BT Sensor
- PIEPS POWDER BT
- PIEPS PRO BT
- PIEPS DSP PRO
- PIEPS DSP SPORT
- BLACK DIAMOND RECON
- BLACK DIAMOND GUIDE
Black Diamond has provided instructions for performing the check. If your beacon fails the safety check, you should retire it immediately and return it to PIEPS / BLACK DIAMOND for repair or replacement, free of charge.
If you have any questions or need help checking your beacon, contact Black Diamond customer service.
The safety check follows a 2021 recall of PIEPS DSP avalanche transceivers sold from January 2013 through November 2020. The problem that caused the highly publicized recall appears separate from, though related to, the current safety check malfunction. It revolved around a switch that could toggle between modes without the user’s knowledge.
Allegedly, it’s caused multiple high-profile deaths dating back to 2017, when Corey Lynam died near Whistler, British Columbia.
Local search-and-rescue volunteer Darryl Leniuk told Powder Canada that responders found Lynam’s body with his beacon on “search” mode. “No idea if he set it wrong, or if the force of the avalanche did this,” he wrote on Facebook.