Columbia recalls Omni-Heat electric jackets due to burn hazard (or, for working too well)

Darren Murph
D. Murph|02.01.13

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Columbia recalls Omni-Heat electric jackets due to burn hazard (or, for working too well)

Sure, we may have internet in the skies and refrigerators with Evernote integration, but here's one thing that science can't do: deliver a trouble-free heated jacket. A few years after Ardica hung up the dream due to a battery recall, Columbia is doing likewise. The sportswear company has issued a recall for seven Omni-Heat electric jacket models, citing a manufacturing defect in the heated inner wrist cuff. There have been two non-injury incidents reported (Canada, UK), but no injuries. According to the company's own statement on the matter, a "small number of the 2012 Columbia heated jackets may contain a heated inner wrist cuff component with a manufacturing flaw that may cause an electrical short to occur, giving rise to a potential burn risk." This is all in addition to a separate recall in early January specific to a small number of batteries, (part number 054978-001) that -- according to Columbia -- "may have been included with a small number of electric jackets may overheat and result in a fire hazard."

If you'll recall, the Circuit Breaker was actually one of our favorite gadgets of 2011, but curiously, we never could pinpoint when and where these were set to go on sale. We were independently contacted by a company that claimed Columbia was using its technology in breach of contract, but never could verify if that was the reason sales seemed to be on hiatus. [Update: Columbia affirmed to us that said claims are "unfounded" and "had no impact the delivery of its Fall 2011 Omni-Heat Electric products."] Evidently, a few hundred of these finally made their way into the warm embrace of consumers, but considering that "Refund" looks to be the only remedy here, we sort of doubt a second generation will emerge. It's important to note, however, that Columbia's non-electric Omni-Heat offerings aren't included in the recall -- and, for the record, that stuff does a stellar job of keeping one warm without any whiz-bang circuitry. Hit up the links below if you're thinking of sending yours back.

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