While cruising the recent Outdoor Retailer Summer trade show, Ortovox reps asked me to remind S1+ users to observe the ongoing recall and the need to send their beacon in to be fixed. Based on results so far, very few actual customers have returned their S1+ beacons to be fixed. All the S1+ beacons pending sale in retailer inventory and at the Ortovox warehouse in Longmont, Colorado were returned, but not many others.
This isn’t just a software upgrade, there is an issue with the hardware that can cause a myriad of symptoms, the most egregious of which is the possibility that the beacon won’t actually be transmitting when you think it is. Or it might yield a display that doesn’t indicate anything other than the display isn’t working correctly.
It turns out that there is a plastic sleeve surrounding the axle that the S1+ opens up around. This plastic “sleeve” is actually a wiring harness, a rigid sort of ribbon cable. In cold temperatures the wiring sleeve can become brittle, causing the embedded wires to break resulting in various malfunctions as noted above. Because the beacon can fail to even transmit, this recall is critical. The replacement ribbon cable has cured the problem, but you need to send your beacon in pronto before the snow flies. New S1+ avalanche beacons sold after March 2015 are not susceptible to this problem, but those sold between June 2011 and May 2015 are.
This recall is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Owners of the S1+ transceivers should stop using their beacon immediately and return the unit(s) for repair to:
c/o Deuter USA
1341 Sherman Dr # D
Longmont, CO 80501
For complete instructions go to http://www.ortovox.com/4875–handling_recall.html.
Review: Ortovox S1 (NOT the plus version)