On April 12, 2021, Austrian safety beacon manufacturer Pieps, together with its U.S. distributor Black Diamond, issued a voluntary recall of three Pieps DSP beacon models. This recall also extends throughout Canada, Europe, Japan, and New Zealand. On affected models, the transceiver may switch modes unexpectedly, which can prevent it from its emitting its expected emergency signal. This can, in turn, prevent rescuers from finding a person wearing this beacon, which could cause injury or death.
The affected Pieps beacons are the DSP Pro, DSP Pro Ice, and DSP Sport avalanche transceivers. Although they’re primarily marketed toward skiers, Pieps has been making safety equipment for backcountry exploration for decades. Snowmobilers and other outdoor enthusiasts, including motorcyclists, may regularly use Pieps beacons as part of their safety routines.
Each of the three affected beacons was sold between January, 2013 and November, 2020. The name of each transceiver is printed on the front of the unit, and they’re also color-coded to help you identify which is which. The Pieps DSP Sport is translucent green, the Pieps DSP Pro is translucent black, and the Pieps DSP Pro Ice is clear.
If you own one of the affected Pieps beacons, the company requests that you immediately stop using it and contact Pieps directly to obtain the new hardcase carrying system. These three units were originally sold with a neoprene carrying system, which did not securely hold beacons in place so that the mode switch couldn’t get bumped. According to Pieps, the new hardcase system that replaces the old neoprene one should solve this problem, making beacons held in the hard cases both safer and more reliable.
Here are the model numbers for the affected units:
- PIEPS DSP Sport Avalanche Transceiver MODEL NO. PP1128040000ALL1
- PIEPS DSP Pro Avalanche Transceiver MODEL NO. PP1127710000ALL1
- PIEPS DSP Pro Ice Avalanche Transceiver MODEL NO. PP1127700000ALL1
All affected models will also have the model name DSP02 inside the battery door, as well as located on the outer packaging if you still have it. Overall, Black Diamond reported 63 separate reports of affected transceivers switching unexpectedly while they were in use. One person died, and one skier suffered a broken arm and other minor injuries after being caught in an avalanche in British Columbia, Canada.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 66,100 affected Pieps beacons were sold in the U.S., as well as an additional 12,500 in Canada. The CPSC’s official recall number for these devices is 21-108.
If you own one of these Pieps beacons, you can call Black Diamond directly at 866-306-0865 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. MT from Monday through Friday. You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Black Diamond’s official Pieps DSP recall page.