Mammut recalls the 2012 Via Ferrata Sets Tec Step Bionic, Tec Step Classic, Tec Step Brenta Classic and Tec Step Bionic Turn from the market as a precaution.
In August 2012, there was a fatal accident involving a Via Ferrata set from a competitor brand. As an immediate response, different testing institutes tested Via Ferrata sets according to tightened protection goals. These tests established that some karabiner arms made from elasticated webbings were far too weak – these products have already been recalled in summer.
The Mammut sets that were tested verifiable showed much higher breaking strengths. There was no immediate danger to users as the Mammut products using this elastic arm construction were only introduced in Spring 2012.
Meanwhile, Mammut executed further tests and investigations and these showed that there is a very small residual safety risk after very long periods of very heavy usage over several seasons. The risk to safety only occurs if the product usage vastly exceeds the recommended usable lifetime.
Even though via ferrata sets are one of the most robust items of your equipment: they still have to be replaced.
After a genuine fall, they must always be replaced. It is extremely dangerous to rethread the brake rope or cable since the exact alignment can become unbalanced. In the absence of any stress due to falls which (hopefully) practically never occurs, via ferrata sets have a relatively long lifetime since the wear and tear at the short rope segments is considerably less than that of climbing ropes, the whole length of which is dragged over the rock face.
However, you should still try to avoid situations which may result in damage and examine the via ferrata set, like the rest of your equipment, for damage at regular intervals. You should pay special attention to the stitched seams and the areas subject to stress (around the brake, carabiner loops, tie-in loops). If in doubt: replace the set too early rather than too late since ultimately your life depends on it.
The table below provides you with information about when the via ferrata set needs to be replaced for safety reasons; in addition, it must be replaced immediately if any of the following criteria apply:
- after a serious fall (mechanical damage due to heat resulting from friction)
- if the profile of the stitched seams is damaged (dubious rigidity)
- in the case of irreversible, high levels of dirt (for example due to grease, bitumen oil etc.)
- after contact with acids, for example due to a car battery
- after high levels of thermal stress (melt points or traces of melting due to contact or friction heat identifiable)
The following table provides guidelines concerning the period of use of the via ferrata set;
|Frequency of User||Approximate Life Span|
|10 years maximum|
|Rarely used: twice per year||up to 7 years|
|Occasionally used: once per month||up to 5 years|
|Regularly used: several times per month||up to 3 years|
|Frequently used: each week||up to 1 year|
|Constantly used: almost daily||less than 1 year|
In order to prevent any future risk to consumers, Mammut has decided to recall the following products as a precaution:
2130-00240 Tec Step Bionic
2130-00220 Tec Step Classic
2130-00250 Tec Step Brenta Classic
2130-00230 Tec Step Bionic Turn
If you are in possession of one of the affected Via Ferrata Sets, you have the opportunity to send these back to have the elasticated karabiner arms replaced. The webbing will be replaced with a construction that increases the security and eliminates the residual risk described above.
The following possibilities exist for the return of the products
1. Send your Mammut Via Ferrata set to our customer service centre.
For customers outside the EU and in Switzerland
Mammut Sports Group AG
D 87787 Wolfertschwenden
For customers within the EU
Mammut Sports Group GmbH
2. Return your Via Ferrata set to your Mammut dealer. The dealer will take care of the return of the product.
Please use the prepared product return form for the shipment.
When your Via Ferrata Set arrives at Mammut Sports Group, the elasticated webbing will be replaced and your own product will be returned to you. This service is free of charge and your postal costs will also be refunded. We ask for your understanding that this process requires some time.
For further questions Mammut Sports Group has set up a special Hotline:
Tel: +41 (0)62 769 81 85
With best regards
Mammut Sports Group AG