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Mountain Hardwear catches pad defect in Exodus Packs, notifies retailers

On March 21, Mountain Hardwear sent the following letter, from its national sales manager, Brad Bates, to all the company's retailers carrying Exodus packs: "We have recently identified a potential flaw in the manufacturing process that could affect the yoke and waist belt on the Exodus series of packs. In a number of packs we have noticed that the “loop” fabric that is laminated to the foam pad could potentially lift or pull away from the foam pad while the Velcro overlay is being readjusted. It is important to note that the fabric is still edge-bound and the product will continue to function in the field, however, this is not reflective of Mountain Hardwear quality standards and we are now moving forward with a plan to replace 100 percent of the product that has already been shipped out to retailers and in our warehouse..."


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On March 21, Mountain Hardwear sent the following letter, from its national sales manager, Brad Bates, to all the company’s retailers carrying Exodus packs:

“We have recently identified a potential flaw in the manufacturing process that could affect the yoke and waist belt on the Exodus series of packs. In a number of packs we have noticed that the “loop” fabric that is laminated to the foam pad could potentially lift or pull away from the foam pad while the Velcro overlay is being readjusted. It is important to note that the fabric is still edge-bound and the product will continue to function in the field, however, this is not reflective of Mountain Hardwear quality standards and we are now moving forward with a plan to replace 100 percent of the product that has already been shipped out to retailers and in our warehouse.

Steps we have already taken:
On Friday, March 17th, we completed a 100 percent inspection of the entire collection of Exodus series packs that are in our warehouse and have set aside those packs that failed inspection to be replaced with new pads in the near future. As of March 20th, packs that did pass inspection are now back in stock and are fulfilling preseason orders. It is important to segregate any Exodus packs, fit kits, and accessory pads you may have received prior to March 15th in order to inspect or set aside and await replacement pads. All Exodus packs that are now shipping will also include a “quick assembly” instruction sheet in each plastic bag that contains the pack and all its components. This information sheet will also assist in identifying product that has already been inspected. This sheet was not included in previous shipments.

Most importantly, we have identified in the factory the reason for this potential failure and have adjusted our method for laminating the “loop” fabric to the foam pads that will create a permanent and durable bond.
 
Steps to replace 100 percent of waist belt and yoke pads:
Even though it is not absolutely certain that each pack would experience failure, we are proceeding with a plan to replace 100 percent of the yoke and waist belt pads on the Exodus series. Our factory has already placed orders for all raw materials needed and will begin manufacturing replacement pads this week. The final timeline is still coming together, but you can be assured that it is our primary objective to replace the pads in your possession as soon as possible. It is our goal for the factory to produce enough pads to account for all the pads in the field by the end of March. We should then be able to receive the new pads in early April. If all goes well, we will have replacement pads out to you in mid-April. All new replacement pads will be produced with the size tags repositioned, no longer centered on the pads. The waist belt size tag will now be found off-centered, just above the right hub, on the pad and the yoke size tag will also be obviously off-centered by a couple of inches. This will serve as a quick identifier that will assist you in determining old pad versus new pad.

We have talked with a number of retailers regarding the replacement process and all agreed that they would either inspect packs themselves to determine condition of pads or simply pull product from floor and replace with new pads as soon as we could deliver. They all wanted to avoid having to send product back and forth.

If packs are still in the box, the process will require your staff to remove the belt and yoke from the box (shipped flat and separate from pack), pull the Velcro overlay off of the pad and apply it to the new pad and reinsert into the box. If the pack has been assembled, the old pads can easily be removed and the new pads applied to the overlay. All old pads should be destroyed and properly discarded. You do not need to return pads to Mountain Hardwear.

If for ANY reason this process does not meet your satisfaction, please contact us here at Mountain Hardwear, or your local sales rep, and we will take the necessary steps to address your needs. We will do everything we can to expedite the process. We very much appreciate your patience and your continued support of Mountain Hardwear products.”