Today, Ortovox announces an upcoming recall, effective May 25, of its 3+ avalanche transceivers relying on the company’s software version 2.1. The software error, not evident in prior testing, was found to temporarily disrupt the transceivers’ transmission function, potentially increasing search times in a burial. While Ortovox says there have been no known accidents as a result of the error, the company is taking precautionary measures to update any beacons with 2.1-specific software.

The Ortovox 3+ transceiver.

“[The software error] causes a disruption in the transmission, which, for the searcher, can lead to longer search times,” says brand manager Tom Mason. “People will ask, ‘Well, how much longer?’ It really depends on the situation. It’s hard to generalize. From our point of view, it’s an error, and it’s fixable, so we will fix it.”

To remedy the error, Ortovox says they’re aiming to make their recall as seamless as possible. Owners of the 3+ transceiver with 2.1 software can fill out a form on Ortovox’s website, then print a shipping label to send their affected beacons to the company’s service center in Germany. Once there, transceivers will be updated with the new 2.2 software.

“Given the time of year, it’s going to be few and far between who are still using [their 3+, 2.1 transceivers], but we will give out a loaner transceiver that people can use,” Mason says.“Some people are still out backcountry skiing, like here in Colorado, or are going on trips to places like South America. Wherever they’re headed, we want to give them that option.”

The 3+ transceiver, introduced by Ortovox in 2010, is currently available in four software versions: 1.0, 1.1, 2.0 and 2.1. In their press release, the company notes that the 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0 are not part of the recall; neither are the other Ortovox transceivers, the S+, S1+ and Zoom. But the specific recall will still reach a wide audience—Ortovox says U.S. circulation of the 3+ totals roughly 30,000, plus another 10,000 in Canada.

Mason hopes the early notice on the recall will help get the word out, noting, “Right now, we’re just announcing the recall to let people know about the error and to let them know to stop using their 3+s. We don’t just call the recall an obligation. We call it responsibility as a safety company.”

Find more information about this recall, as well as information on identifying affected transceivers and appropriate recall procedure, at ortovox.com/recall-3plus.

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  1. Thats nice and all but sending it to Germany?

    • Hi Spence.

      Tom from ORTOVOX here. Good question.

      We have internally tested the online registration and shipping procedure from the US before it goes live, 5/25. I’m happy to share that I registered 5 units, received an email from ORTOVOX with shipping instructions, a printable UPS shipping label and other necessary shipping documents. I shipped the units via UPS from Colorado 5/17, and they arrived at the Service Center in Germany today, 5/22.

      Our goal is to make the process as simple as possible for our customers to participate.

  2. juan Lotz says:

    Good afternoon,
    I have the model Ortovox 3+ with the software 2.1 with the failure you informed on your website. We live in Argentina and want to send to you our device, but our doubt is if you can send another while we start very soon the Winter season her in the Southern hemisphere, as we work as guides and skipatrols.

    We need your advise and suggestions on what to do from here, if we can send the device and how long the problem will take to be solved.

    Hope to hear from you very soon.

    kindest regards
    Juan Lotz

    • Tyler Cohen says:

      Hi Juan, We’ll inquire with Ortovox and will share your email address with them so they can reach out to you directly with directions on how to proceed.

    • Hey Juan.

      Tom from ORTOVOX here.

      Loaner beacons are available on a case-by-case basis. Thanks for sharing your contact information, and we’ll make sure you can be ready for your season.

      As for your affected units, you may register and ship once the online form goes live 5/25. The only countries where other arrangements had to be made are Japan, Russia, Iran and Chile.

      I will be in touch.

  3. Greg Stone says:

    I sent in my 3+ for the recall. Got it back, put in a fresh battery, and it only says “UP”. No serial number displays at start up, no responses to button pushes, etc. It no longer works, and I’m hesitant to trust this unit in the future. I’ve got a call into the US warranty dept (nobody there), and an email in to Germany. Needless to say, I’m really, really disappointed.

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