June 3, 2005
Alert #05-578


The following product safety recall was conducted voluntarily by the firm in cooperation with the CPSC. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Redpoint™ and Auto-Belay Descenders

Units: 783

Manufacturer: Mine Safety Appliances Co. (MSA), of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Hazard: This product, which assists wall climbers during descent, has a faulty bearing that can cause the brakes to fail. When this occurs, wall climbers risk rapid descent with no braking capability.

Incidents/Injuries: MSA has received three reports of Redpoint Descenders' brakes failing. One fall resulted in a cracked vertebra. Other injuries include bruised ribs and a sprained ankle.

Description: Two types of descenders, which are used in recreational wall climbing, are included in this recall: Redpoint and Auto-Belay descenders. The descenders consist of a round metal housing into which a retractable red strap (Redpoint) or steel cable (Auto-Belay) is coiled. The front of each descender's round metal housing includes a red label (Redpoint) or green label (Auto-Belay) with the name of the product. A label on the back of the product's housing includes the descender's date of manufacture, last service date, and product number. Redpoint Descenders are identified with product numbers 10024873, 10027646 or 10027798. Auto-Belay Descenders are identified with the product number 10021806. Redpoint Descenders manufactured or serviced from August 27, 2004 through April 6, 2005 are included in the recall. Auto-Belay Descenders serviced from August 27, 2004 through April 6, 2005 are included in the recall.

Sold or Serviced By: MSA worldwide from August 27, 2004 through April 6, 2005.

Sale Price: About $2,000

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the descenders immediately and contact MSA to schedule a free repair of the product.

Consumer Contact: Contact MSA at (800) 672-2222 anytime or visit the firm's Web site at www.MSAnet.com

Picture of Recalled Climbing Wall Descenders

Picture of Recalled Climbing Wall Descenders