In late August 2021, Petzl/Spelean (Australia/New Zealand) released a notice reporting several customer returns citing rope slippage on a tiny number of Petzl ZigZag/Zillons produced between 2018 and 2021. By 'tiny', I mean 0.025% of all Petzl ZigZag/Zillons manufactured during that period.
Petzl, being Petzl, was concerned enough about the problem to investigate further. As a result of this research, technicians discovered a variance in the ZigZag/Zillon production process, which resulted in a random malfunction of the spring effect on the upper release lever and a difference in the surface treatment, which resulted in a modification of the release lever geometry.
This manufacturing variance caused premature wear on the ZigZag/Zillon release levers, resulting in slippage observed after a few months of use or even on new products.
Petzl stopped all production of the ZigZag/Zillon until they could sort out the problem, so Treetools went for months without ZigZag/Zillon products on the shelves. At the same time, Petzl issued a 'Request for Inspection Notice' and provided details on performing a function test. The notice was NOT a product recall - see previous blog post here.
Aware that some customers might be inconvenienced by all this (even though slippage numbers were minimal), Petzl did the right thing and offered to exchange products that did not pass the 'Function Test' outlined in their documentation. In addition, if you wanted something other than an exchange, Petzl would refund the original purchase price (none of Treetools' customers asked for their money back).
The Petzl offer was a good deal considering many of these ZigZag/Zillons had been in the field for several years by the time the slippage issue became apparent. In addition, Treetools had only recorded a single unit with premature slippage before the Petzl announcement in September 2021.
The only caveat on the Petzl ZigZag/Zillon Exchange offer was an expiry date; 31st December 2022. Of course, back in September 2021, that seemed like forever, but the date rolled around very quickly.
The Petzl ZigZag offer to exchange or refund money on product with a serial number between 18L 0000000 000 and 21G 0000000 000 has now expired.
If your Petzl ZigZag/Zillon is within this serial range and has started slipping during work or when conducting the function test, put the problem down to wear and tear; this is not a warranty issue, and you will not get a replacement ZigZag/Zillon from Petzl. Instead, click the 'buy' button and get a new ZigZag/Zillon.