The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a recall of certain Matrix Alpha motorcycle helmets. The Alpha is inspired by tactical helmets and designed to look tough and menacing but there seems there have been issues with its build quality.
The NHTSA notice reads:
“Matrix Headgear LTD (Matrix) is recalling certain Alpha motorcycle helmets, in all sizes. The helmet retention system may fail, allowing the helmet to separate from the wearer's head in the event of a crash,” says NHTSA in its recall notice.“Additionally, the helmet may not adequately protect the wearer in the event of a head impact during a crash. As such, these helmets fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 218, "Motorcycle Helmets."”
Only 25 helmets are affected by the recall, and Matrix will issue a replacement helmet free of charge to those owners. In an interesting twist, the affected part is misspelled on the company website, where its retention system is described as a “Double D ring Bickle”.
The helmets are manufactured in London, United Kingdom and shipped directly from the Matrix website. There are three colors of Alpha helmet, matte black, army green, and white and they retail for around $245.
A motorcycle helmet is a vital piece of safety equipment out on the roads. If you happen to have one of these cool-looking but inadequately protective helmets we advocate you stop wearing it until issued a replacement.
There are lots of reasons why low-volume, low-cost, unconventional looking helmets should be treated with a level of caution, and this recall frankly supports that hypothesis. At the end of the day, it’s one thing to look cool out on the roads, and another to survive them. Always look for a DOT or Snell approved helmet that offers reliable protection.