Beware, this information received a > major update.

On Thursday, May 5th, a young man fell to the ground while climbing the Bastille Via Ferrata in Grenoble, France. According to the latest information we have, the accident appears to have been the result of a manufacturing defect of the Petzl Scorpio lanyard (a version that stopped being produced in March 2005). The defect consisted of a missing safety stitch (bar tack) on the attachment loop.

Our first thoughts are with the young man and his family, to whom we express our deepest sympathies. They can be assured that Petzl will assume its responsibilities regarding this event.

As a precautionary measure, before the conclusion of the accident analysis, we have decided to launch a voluntary product safety alert: request for inspection for a specific series of SCORPIO lanyards L60 and L60 CK, produced up to March 4th 2005, with serial numbers between 02150 and 05062. Please see our product safety alert: request for inspection notice for more details.

How to find the serial number of your via ferrata lanyard.

Over the past 40 years, Petzl has manufactured several million pieces of safety equipment. This is the first known incident in the history of Petzl where an accident may have been the result of a manufacturing defect of a commercialized Petzl product. Safety is and has always been our first and foremost concern.

As an ISO 9001 certified company, we are constantly improving our manufacturing and inspection processes in order to reduce the risk of failure, most notably those linked to potential human error. The SCORPIO lanyard has benefited from these perpetual quality improvements since the beginning of its production. All our safety products undergo a minimum of two quality control inspection phases: one during the manufacturing itself and then another independent final inspection.

You can be confident in the commitment of every Petzl employee, each of whom is truly affected by this accident, that we will redouble our efforts to continually improve the quality of our products.

Nobody can completely eliminate all risks, yet Petzl has always strived to do exactly that with regards to it’s products. Once again, we are going to carefully review our quality control procedures concerning production and safety stitching (bar tacks).

I personally promise that we will take all necessary actions to immediately ensure this type of accident does not happen again.

We ask you to accept our sincerest apologies.

Paul Petzl
Président
Signature Paul Petzl.

 

Comments

That's why most of us use

That's why most of us use Petzl Product, because we all know it's really safe.
People should not use climbing gear after 6 years of use.. Don't blame Petzl

ANSWER

Hello Meddy,
The accident was not due to the fact that the product was over 6 years old, but we think the product was missing a safety stitching, this is why we are doing a request for inspection to check that there is no other non stitched lanyard.
Please read the full information : We were recently notified that a SCORPIO L60 lanyard was involved in a via ferrata accident which occurred on May 5th, 2011 in Grenoble, France. According to the information we have as of today, our analysis shows an absence of one of the safety stitching (bar tacks) of the energy absorbing system. This safety stitching (bar tacks) can only be seen if the energy absorber is removed from its protective pouch.
Petzl will assume its responsibilities for this event and commits to immediately taking all necessary actions to ensure this type of accident does not happen again.

http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/news/products-news-0/2011/05/13/product-...

Accept our apologies for any inconvenience due to this.

Sincerely

How long?

According to this:

http://www.petzl.com/files/all/technical-notice/Sport/L60-SCORPIO.pdf

It should be good for 10 years.

Answer : how long ?

Hello Antoine,

The maximum potential lifetime of SCORPIO is up to 10 years from the date of manufacture.
The actual lifetime of the SCORPIO ends when it meets one of the retirement criteria listed in the technical notice : http://www.petzl.com/files/all/technical-notice/Sport/L60-SCORPIO.pdf, see "When to retire you equipment".
Thank you for your support.

Sincerity

Firstly, sympathies to the victim and family.

Secondly, wow. Thats most impressive. An unreserved apology from a commercial company. Well done Petzl for facing your part in this head-on. You'd never see this from an American company (as they say; Europe has standards, America has litigation).

Why are you not replacing the harnesses?

To answer the last comment - No, an American company would also almost certainly aggressively act to replace the equipment, not merely inspect it, in order to avoid any chance of further failures because of unrecognized material or design flaws. Petzl has shamefully failed to do this in the interest of saving money. My next harness is not going to be a Petzl specifically because Petzl obviously is putting profit ahead of safety in this case.

People's lives are on the line - These products should be recalled, not inspected!

Re: Why are you not replacing the harnesses?

Hello,

We are not sure to understand the issue.

Petzl's policy is to replace any defective product within the three years warranty as long as no misused has been done.

In case of any disagreement, please contact directly the after sales service with reference of the product, serial number and picture of the defective part at aftersales@petzl.fr

Or directly your local distributor

Staying at your disposal


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