Petzl Recalls Belay Device Due to Break Interference Risk

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In a news release Tuesday, Petzl America Inc., in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, announced a voluntary recall of a belay device due to an issue that can interfere with breaking system, posing a fall hazard.

Subject to recall are 18,000 GRIGRI 2 belay devices with assisted breaking, which are used by rock climbers to control the climber’s safety rope either while being lowered using the rope or during a fall. The handle on the device can, on occasion of excessive force, become stuck in the open position. When the handle is stuck open, the assisted breaking function becomes disabled, and this poses a fall hazard to anyone using the device.

There have been no reported injuries in connection with the issue; however, seven of the French-manufactured devices have been returned worldwide, including one device in the U.S., after users noticed the handle could become stuck in the open position. Two thousand devices have also been recalled in Canada.

The belay devices affected by the recall are 4 inches long, 2 inches wide, and come in the colors gray, blue and orange. The first five digits of the serial numbers of the recalled devices range from 10326 to 11136. The serial number is engraved on the body of the belay device underneath the folded handle. The recalled devices were sold for about $95 nationwide in sports and recreation stores from February 2011 to June 2011.

Consumers are urged to immediately stop using the recalled devices and to contact Petzl America to arrange a replacement.

I hope that no one has been injured as a result of the handle interfering with the breaking system on the recalled belay devices. As a product liability lawyer, I encourage anyone who has one of the affected devices to arrange for a replacement as soon as possible.