We have a pair of Mustang model 3032 PFD's that are approximately 13 years old. They have never seen the water
and have been stored in a dry, ventilated cockpit
locker. We recently decided to check the units and tried to manually inflate them. We heard significant air leaks
in both units and investigated further. We then found that both auto-inflaters were separating from the vest, due to a total deterioration of the plastic ring that holds them to the vest. A small pull on the inflators resulted in their complete separation from the vests, with a 3/4" diameter hole open to the interior
of the vest. The vests are in good condition otherwise. We surmise that the plastic used for this important juncture is of inferior quality. It had been about 3 years since we last did a visual inspection
of the vests and manually inflated them.
Had we been forced to use these in a true MOB
situation the units would have failed immediately and filled with water
We contacted Mustang Survival and they told us the units were past warranty and that no further support could be given. We told them that there are probably many older Mustang PFD's out there that have this same problem, and that the owners needed to know about this potential problem. They responded that their documentation
advises routine inspection
of the vests, but didn't seem too concerned with passing along any type of additional warning to consumers.
Although it is true that we should have been checking these vests more frequently (our boat
has been in dry storage
for almost 3 years) it is also true that there are probably a lot of 10 year old Mustang PFD's out there that are on the verge of failure at this joint, assuming that this same plastic ring is still being used.
Bottom line - check your vests. If more of us find this similar failure, Mustang Survival needs to be advised.