Callaway Golf began contacting retailers and consumers today to announce that it was issuing a voluntary recall of its latest GPS device, the uPro MX.
The company cited "technical challenges" in the rollout of the new device, and was offering a check or Callaway gift card for all returns. Callaway said consumers who are satisfied with their uPro MX device may keep it, and the company would continue to support it through the website, callawayuxplore.com. Consumers can obtain refund information at callawaygolf.com/upromxrefund. The refund offer is valid to consumers through Sept. 30.
Introduced this spring, the uPro MX was the second generation in the Callaway uPro GPS family. In addition to being able to be used in basic form for thousands of courses worldwide with no downloads, the device included a website where users could download advanced maps of courses, as well as track statistics with every club in the bag. Callaway's GPS device is unique in that its course maps feature aerial images of holes, rather than computerized renderings.
According to Tim Buckman, Callaway Golf senior director of global communications, the device's "technical challenges" centered on two main issues: 1) problems with the device's website in registering users and downloading course maps; 2) on-course usage glitches that included unexpected freezing or powering down. A recent review by Golfsmith customers gave the uPro MX device a 1 1/2 star rating on a 5-star scale.
"It's too early to determine how many devices are presenting technical challenges," Buckman said, "but enough for us to decide that a voluntary withdrawal from retail and a full refund offer was the right thing to do."
Although rare, other golf products to be recalled in recent years. In 2007, drivers from Nike, Cleveland and Cobra, as well as Callaway, were found to be non-conforming to the spring-like effect rule due to manufacturing inconsistencies, and each company offered a return/exchange program. In addition, golf balls from both Callaway and TaylorMade had to be pulled from the conforming list after manufacturing glitches in 2009.
Buckman said the company's design team will continue to work on new software to improve the functionality of the uPro MX device, and that the company plans to remain active in the GPS marketplace. Currently, Callaway is the only major golf club and ball manufacturer to be involved in the GPS field. The company also has partnered with Nikon to launch Callaway-branded laser rangefinders.
"Our voluntary withdrawal [of uPro MX] ensures that once we have made the appropriate software update, we can return the product to market and deliver the high quality experience that customers expect from Callaway," Buckman said. "Our commitment to delivering best in class products and services is the guiding principle behind this decision and we will continue to do whatever it takes to earn the trust of our customers. UPro MX and the callawayuxplore platform represent an important area of focus within Callaway and we are confident that our use of innovative technologies will advance the category."