CAMP Photon Carabiner Recall Q&A - 2011
Q: How can I tell if my Photons are affected?
A: The only units affected carry the following batch numbers: 39 10, 41 10, 43 10, 01 11, 02 11, 03 11, 04 11, 08 11. The batch number is located just below the gate hinge point on the body of the carabiner. Units affected by the recall were sold prior to July 2011. If you would like verification of the batch numbers on your Photons, please email a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org for review.
Q: Is it just Photons? Could any of my other carabiners be affected?
A: It is only Photons and a very small percentage. Unfortunately, without breaking every unit to failure we are unable to devise a test to identify the small number of units that exhibit the problem so we have issued the full recall. Less than 300 units had been sold to customers before we were able to issue the recall and contact retailers. Other CAMP carabiners like the popular Nano 23 and Orbits are not affected in any manner. The Nano 23 carabiner is featured as part of the Mach Express Quickdraw which also uses the Photon Wire Bent Gate carabiner for the rope end. It is the Photon and not the Nano that could be affected, but we are required to make every attempt to recall every unit of the Photons or any products that use it in the assembly like the Mach Express.
Q: If I have Photons, what should I do?
A: The best option is to return them to the retailer you purchased them from along with a copy of the press release at this address:
The retailer will be able to issue a full refund and process the return on your behalf. If this is not convenient, you may call us directly at 1.877.421.CAMP or send us an email at email@example.com and we will take care of the refund and return directly.
Q: What is CAMP doing to fix the problem?
A: We have already made tweaks to the die that will correct the problem. The changes are minute so they will not affect the size, shape or have much impact on the weight. The Photon will remain the first hyperlight, full-size carabiner. Pre-production samples are being made right now off the new die and we are testing these. Then we move into production and we will be pulling a large number from the initial batches for testing. Once these results prove sufficient, we will begin shipping Photons again.
Q: What was the problem CAMP identified with the Photon?
A: On a small number of units, under a large load, the gate creeps open leaving the carabiner in its open state where it is weaker. It is very curious when you see it happen. By beefing up a few parts of the body, we have mitigated the problem.
Q: How is it possible that these carabiners were released to the market?
A: CAMP individually tests every carabiner we sell. Neither in these tests, nor in all of the pre-production, certifications or additional quality control tests did we see the problem. While running some additional batch tests, we saw the problem appear on one random unit, then found a few more affected units. The percentage of affected units is very small which is why all of the initial tests showed positive results and the problem is variable, appearing under different loads even on the same exact carabiner style. The load is quite high before the problem appears, but because we cannot devise a test to identify each and every affected unit without breaking every carabiner to failure, we have issued the full scale recall. Our customers’ safety is our first concern. The Photon marks an evolutionary advance in carabiner design and we have created the lightest possible carabiner for its size, something climbers have been after like the Holy Grail for quite some time. It is regrettable that we have experienced this problem, we are happy we identified it so quickly, and we are also very happy about the general market feedback we have seen with the Photons so far. As with many of our innovative products, climbers appreciate our unique passion for pushing the limits of design and innovation.
Q: When will the Photons be available again?
A: The climbers we have talked to about returning their Photons absolutely love them. We truly apologize for the delay and we hope to have Photons available again in ~45-60 days. Of course, we will be taking adequate time to test the snot out of them before we re-release them.