Wild Country is pleased to announce that all customers who returned their Helium Karabiners to Wild Country will receive a new Helium as a replacement. Read on to find out more.
When will I receive my new Helium? Many customers will already have received their replacement Helium karabiners, but if not, you can expect to receive them within the next few weeks.
What was the problem with my Helium? The post around which the wire gate locates was slightly misformed in the forging process, allowing the wire gate to slip off under test loading. We are now in the process of testing from all the Helium production batches as they are returned to determine the extent of the problem but we believe it to have occurred only in the batch that alerted us to the problem.
How dangerous was this judged to be? The small number of karabiners that were at risk would still have held a load of 10kN in a gate open situation. Within the climbing industry 10kN is considered to be in excess of any normal load generated in a fall. Therefore we can say that the risk to the few climbers who may have received a suspect karabiner from this batch was very small. Non the less as responsible manufacturers operating within an ISO 9001:2000 quality system we felt compelled to issue a general recall of all batches.
What is different about my new Helium? Upon close inspection you will notice a small, machined groove at the base of the post around which the wire gate locates. This addition ensures that the wire gate locates securely in this groove under load and achieves its rated strength. We have individually inspected each karabiner and we have also proof loaded each karabiner to 8kn. The addition of a letter “T” to the 3-letter batch code denotes completion of proof loading.
What about future Helium production? When we have processed existing stock, production will change to a new forging tool in which the post shape has been modified. New production will have a "J" coding forged into the back adjacent to the hinge end of the wire gate. A new series of three letter batch codes will be used and we will continue to stamp a ‘T’ next to the batch code to signify that each karabiner has been individually tested.
How can I tell a safe Helium from a recalled Helium? If your Helium karabiner has only a three letter batch code it is subject to recall and should be returned to your retailer or direct to Wild Country. If your Helium karabiner has a three-letter batch code followed by a ‘T’ it is safe to use. For more information see www.wildcountry.co.uk
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