While I’m sure this situation is a blow to G3, it’s extremely disappointing for us here at WildSnow as well. Not only have we been big boosters of the G3 ION ski touring binding, but we’ve made it the main binding we put on all our test skis. We have numerous pairs that qualify for return under the guidelines below.
But things happen…kudos to G3 for their effort to serial number their bindings, as well as organizing this “warranty repair.”
In my opinion this is a serious defect. Do not hesitate to check your bindings and return if necessary. I know of at least one instance when this problem occurred during a ski descent of the Grand Teton. Not so hot, but the skier is back alive.
Know this is an “assembly” defect. The ION binding as designed remains one of the best out there and we continue to recommend.
** Below from G3, annotated by myself in double parenthesis, lightly edited **
Service Announcement — ION Warranty Repair — June 2017
It has come to G3’s attention that the Front Heel Body Screws (Figure A) of some ION Binding Heel Turrets ((otherwise known as the heel unit)) were not installed to our production specifications. As a result, the screws may come loose and cause the binding to release ((accidentally)). While only rare instances of failure and no injuries have been reported, we are issuing a Warranty Repair on limited ION Binding Heel Turrets ((identified by serial number)) to ensure our products perform to our specifications.
If you or any of your ski partners/friends/fellow backcountry travelers are using ION bindings, please follow the Inspection Guidelines ((below)) and determine if your heel turrets are affected.
Inspection Guidelines – How to determine if ION Heel Turrets are affected:
Any 2015 production model ION with aluminum top caps are not affected. See figures B and C. Aluminum top caps are shiny and metallic in appearance. Comolded metal/plastic top caps are matte black in appearance.
If the Heel Turret has a comolded metal/plastic top cap, check the serial number:
• If you have an ION 12 with serial numbers starting with 3H15 (all) or 3H16 (00001 – 04132) it may be affected.
• If you have an ION 10 with serial numbers starting with 4H15 (all) or 4H16 (00001 – 04170) it may be affected.
• If you have an ION LT 12 with serial numbers starting with 5H15 (all) or 5H16 (00001 – 02177) it may be affected.
Locating the Serial Numbers:
Serial numbers of each ION heel unit may be found in 3 different locations: under the binding baseplate, under the heel turret or on the box packaging. Every pair of bindings has 4 unique serial numbers. Please check both heel units to confirm if they are affected.
If you determine you have an ION Heel Turret that is affected, please contact G3 via one of the following methods:
1. Complete the ION service form here: genuineguidegear.com/IONservice
2. Send an email to email@example.com; please include: name, phone number, model, shipping address and serial number. G3 will provide specific instructions to ensure your issue is serviced.
We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.
— The G3 Team 06.12.2017
(All images used by permission of G3.)
Experiments with tightening and thread locking the screws at issue.
All our ION posts.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.