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Consumer alert

PFD inflators give false ‘ready’ status

The manufacturer has alerted Mustang, Protexion and Stearns about the problem

PFD inflators give false ‘ready’ status

The manufacturer has alerted Mustang, Protexion and Stearns about the problem

Halkey-Roberts Corp. has alerted several PFD manufacturers that the inflators it produces can indicate a “ready” status when carbon dioxide cylinders with bayonet tips are improperly installed. If the CO2 cylinder isn’t put in correctly, the PFD won’t automatically inflate upon contact with water.

Manufacturers that received the notification earlier this summer were Mustang Survival of Bellingham, Wash. (; Protexion Products Inc. of Guelph, Ontario ( ); and Stearns Inc. of Saulk Rapids, Minn. ( ). It wasn’t immediately known how many PFDs are affected.

Halkey-Roberts says it has changed the labels on the inflators to better explain how to install the cylinders. “We’re doing everything the Coast Guard has recommended. We want to make sure that the customers know exactly what to do,” says John Lucius, Halkey-Roberts vice president of inflation systems. “We’ve changed the label so it clearly says to push the CO2 cylinder in and to turn it. We’ve also changed the spring inside to make sure the unit ejects if it isn’t properly loaded.”

To secure a CO2 cylinder with a bayonet tip, the cylinder has to be pushed into the receiver and turned clockwise to a full stop, according to Halkey-Roberts. If the cylinder isn’t turned into place, the mechanism is designed to eject it.

The Coast Guard became aware of the problem when a consumer who hadn’t turned the cylinder properly got the green indicator but the unit didn’t eject, according to Coast Guard spokesperson Jolie Shifflet. Boaters should check the model number on the manufacturer’s label to see if a life jacket is affected, Shifflet says.

Updated CO2 cylinder installation instructions are available on the manufacturers’ Web sites. If the PFD doesn’t eject an unturned cylinder, it’s recommended that consumers call the manufacturer for servicing.

PFDs affected

Mustang Survival

(800) 661-6181

MC1900 automatic

MC1900HR automatic with harness

MD0100 LIFT Vest manual

MD0200 LIFT Vest automatic

MD3081 manual

MD3082 manual with harness

MD3083 automatic

MD3084 automatic with harness, all colors and styles

Protexion Products Inc.

(800) 268-3112

NIV3000 manual

NIV3500 manual with harness

NIV4000 automatic

NIV4500 automatic with harness

Stearns Inc.

(800) 328-3208, Ext. 1

38MLNG manual

38MHRN manual with harness

24MSPT manual

38MREG manual

38MBP manual

38ASSTD automatic

38ASHAR automatic with harness

38ASPRO automatic

38CHR automatic and manual

1469 automatic

1473 automatic with harness