Simpson Performance Products has issued a recall on its Shorty Over The Wall helmets for multiple issues discovered during independent testing on behalf of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to documents published by NHTSA, all examples of this helmet manufactured after March 1, 2017, are included in the recall, a total of 3,752 helmets.
During a random sample test at an contract testing lab, examples of this helmet failed in three different ways. One was a simple labeling issue, but the other two were more serious. The helmets failed the penetration test, which tests how well the helmet resists penetration by foreign objects in a crash. The helmet retention system, which is what holds the helmet in the proper position on your head, also failed.
Strategic Sports, the Chinese manufacturer that supplied the helmets to Simpson, was unable to duplicate these results in their own testing. They believe that a manufacturing change occurred when the workshop responsible for fiberglass molding was reorganized and re-staffed in late 2016, which could explain the penetration test failure. They have no explanation for why the retention system failed in NHTSA's tests but not during their own extensive in-house testing. In an abundance of caution, NHTSA has decided to recall all helmets manufactured after the molding and staffing changes took place.
Recall number 21E-003 is set to begin on February 15, 2021, when notifications will be sent to dealers. Notifications directly to owners of these helmets will take place no later than March 1, 2021. No repair is possible on these helmets, and Simpson has discontinued this model as a result of these failures. The only remedy available will be a full refund of the purchase price and for the collection cost of these helmets. The idea is to get these potentially defective helmets out of the public's hands so that no one will be hurt by a failure like the ones experienced in the lab.