While probe poles are not legally considered to be a “personal protection device” and are thus not as strictly regulated in regards to recalls, G3 nonetheless figured they’d better be ultra-careful with even the slightest possible problem. Hence, due to concerns about the ferrule at the business end of the probe pulling up into the tubing, they’re implementing a voluntary recall. Details are below, verbatim from their official communication.
G3 GENUINE GUIDE GEAR Carbon SPEED TECH Avalanche Probe — Voluntary Recall — October 2015
In rare instances, G3 has seen failures in G3 Carbon Avalanche Probes upon deployment. Once the probe is extended, if significant force is used in tensioning the internal cable by pulling on the red or black T-handle, the internal ferrule can loosen inside or disconnect from the lower segment, causing the probe to weaken and possibly fail. While this is not a failure of approved Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), avalanche probes are used in situations related to personal rescue and snow stability forecasting. G3 takes avalanche related equipment very seriously and is, therefore, initiating a voluntary recall and replacement of all G3 Carbon Probes that could possibly be affected.
Concerns are limited to G3 Carbon Speed Tech & Carbon Speed Tech SL Probes manufactured in 2011–2014, easily identified as any G3 carbon probe with a red or black T-handle, as listed below:
#1631 G3 300 Carbon Speed Tech probe (red T-handle)
#1911 G3 240 Carbon Speed Tech SL probe (black T-handle)
#1635 G3 190 Carbon Speed Tech SL probe (black T-handle)
The cause of the potential failure is poor bonding of adhesive to internal components, causing a possible weakening of the internal bond between the ferrule and the bottom probe segment where the tensioning cable originates. Tests in our lab have replicated this failure when significant / excessive force is used in pulling the cable. Average human pull strength for this type of movement is approximately 80lb / 36kg. The G3 pull tests go to beyond 120lb / 54kg with static and additional, dynamic shock loading to reproduce this possible failure, well in excess of the typical force used to deploy a probe.
G3 will accept returns via the below Return Authorization process and will replace affected carbon probes with new production. This new production will be identified as a G3 Carbon Speed Tech probe with a blue or gray pull handle. Any consumer or retailer should contact the G3 Customer Service / Warranty Team via phone or email and request a Return Authorization Number. Affected probes may then be sent to the the Canadian or US ship-to address below. G3 will return-ship to you, at no cost, an equivalent carbon probe from our new, 2015/2016 stock with a blue or gray handle. The new blue and gray colored handles on G3 Carbon probes indicate the probe has been additionally inspected for this specific issue and is not affected.
1) Identify if your probe is affected — any G3 carbon probe with a red or black T-handle.
2) Contact G3 Customer Service / Warranty Team for a Return Authorization Number (RA#):
Fastest service: http://www.genuineguidegear.com/service/forms/warranty-form…or contact G3 directly for any questions or additional assistance: warranty at genuineguidegear dot com; or call toll free – (866) 924-9048.
3) Ship your affected G3 carbon probe to G3 with the mandatory, G3-issued RA# clearly marked on the outside of the box:
3771 Marine Way
Burnaby BC V5J 5A7
4) You will receive a G3 carbon replacement probe at no cost via UPS to a valid, physical, ship-to address.
We apologize for the inconvenience and we look forward to assisting you with this matter in any way we can.
— G3 Customer Service & Warranty Team
C/O Door A37
1201 C Street NW
Auburn WA 98001
While most of the WildSnow backcountry skiing blog posts are best attributed to a single author, some work well as done by the group.