Please note that only European steel cartridges (black) are affected:


North American steel cartridges (yellow) are definitely unaffected and don’t need to be recalled:

Here you can find all the important information concerning the immediate recall of the European steel cartridges and ABS Twinbag systems, with explanations what you need do to have your ABS products checked. We apologize for the inconveniences caused.

The producer and filler of ABS steel cartridges has detected problems in the filling process, and it is possible that European steel cartridges that have already been delivered may have been contaminated during filling. The contamination residues could block the airbag system during subsequent activation. So far three instances of this problem, caused by the supplier, have occurred during training activations in Europe. The yellow steel cartridges for North America are not affected.

The following products are affected by the recall:

  • all European ABS activation units in steel (steel + handle) with a filling date till 02.12.2014
  • ABS backpacks with integrated Twinbag system (double airbag) on the market in Europe since 1996, including ABS Inside Partner models (Bergans, Dakine, Deuter, Haglöfs, Ortovox, Salewa, The North Face, Vaude)

Products not affected by the recall:

  • Backpacks sold in Canada or the United States that have only been used with yellow steel cartridges or carbon cartridges are not affected by the recall
  • yellow steel cartridges North America
  • Carbon cartridges
  • Aluminium cartridges
  • European Steel cartridges with a filling date from 03.12.2014
  • ABS Monoairbags

Extended service hotline:

  • If you are living in Canada or the United States and have any questions regarding the recall of black European Steel cartridges, please contact our ABS office in Canada.
  • If your have questions regarding the recall you can e-mail us at canada@abs-airbag.com we will answer as soon as possible.

What are the next steps?

If you have products affected by this recall, please follow these instructions:

  • All backpacks with an ABS TwinBag system that have already been activated with a black European steel cartridge must be submitted to us for inspection.
  • Please send the affected activation units (European black steel cartridge + handle) and the affected backpacks with an ABS TwinBag system immediately to:

ABS Avalanche Rescue Devices Inc.
38931 Production Way, Suite Grey 04
PO Box 167
V8B 0A2 Squamish, B.C.

Address for US Customers:

ABS Avalanche Rescue Devices Inc.
PO Box 16516
1306 Main St
Oroville, WA 98844

  • Please note that we cannot accept non-prepaid packages.
  • Please note that we will not cover your costs for any yellow North American steel cartridges, since they are not affected by this recall.
  • Please activate your backpack with your black European steel cartridge and return your backpack with ABS System together with the empty steel cartridge. The empty cartridge is not considered as a dangerous good and can therefore be forwarded by mail. The refilling charges are to our expenses.
  • Pack your products in one package. The backpack should be sent completely empty, without shovel and probe etc.
  • Your products will be tested by an ABS specialists. If your products are affected by the recall, they will be repaired or replaced accordingly.If only your steel cartridge needs to be exchanged please contact our customer service under canada@abs-airbag.com.

Press release

Avalanche airbag manufacturer ABS is responding to a fault caused by a supplier with an immediate recall action: all European steel cartridges (black) currently in use with a filling date prior to 3rd of December 2014 must be replaced. It is possible that, during the supplier’s filling process, machining residues could have entered the cartridge which would prevent the airbag system from functioning in future. All backpacks with ABS TwinBag systems (dual airbags) that have been activated with a steel cartridge are therefore to be returned to ABS for checking. The yellow steel cartridges for North America, carbon cartridges and ABS Mono airbags are not affected.

The producer and filler of the steel cartridges used in airbag systems has informed ABS that the steel cartridges supplied may have been contaminated with machining residues during the filling process. These particles could block the ABS system during activation. So far three instances of this problem, caused by the supplier, have been found.

ABS places great emphasis on the quality and safety of its products. The Bavaria-based company is therefore recalling all European steel cartridges with a filling date prior to  3rd of December 2014 for replacement. The filling date is located together with the weight on a round sticker on the cartridge.

Owners of ABS TwinBag systems that have ever been activated with a European steel cartridge (e.g. for training purposes) must now return their avalanche backpacks to ABS for inspection. A system check is required because previous activation of the ABS system may have caused the machining residues to have entered the system which might thus hinder or even prevent subsequent activation. Backpacks fitted with ABS TwinBag systems that are still in their original packaging or have never been activated with a steel cartridge are not affected and do not have to be returned, only the european steel cartridges must be replaced. The yellow steel cartriges for North America, ABS Mono airbags and carbon cartridges are equally unaffected.

ABS promptly informed the trade and the company has in addition set up a hotline for end consumers and dealers.