Customers who bought Oxford’s Original Approved AAA motorcycle riding jeans are being offered a refund of £20 if they want to keep the product, or a full refund upon return after an error in the safety certification was identified.
All motorcycle clothing sold in the UK and Europe must – by law – be certified as Personal Protective Equipment, which gives riders some knowledge of the level of protection they’re getting for their money. It’s a costly process but the past couple of years have shown that brands small and large have barely increased in price, if at all. To understand what all the labels mean, check out this feature.
Part of the certification process is abrasion testing, which for EN17092 is carried out on a Darmstadt machine that sees samples spun around on the surface of a concrete disc. There are various independent testing houses around the world that do this, and Oxford used Mirta-Kontrol in Croatia, who gave these single-layer jeans an AAA rating, the highest achievable in this testing standard.
However, it’s now come to light that the single-layer ‘bi-composite’ denim will only achieve an AA rating for abrasion resistance.
The Darmstadt machine is used to test motorcycle clothing
No – the Oxford Original Approved jeans with the product code DM209 are still fit for purpose for riding, but they do have a new – lower – certification of AA, which means they’re now incorrectly labelled. For that reason, Oxford has had all stockists take them off sale, commenced a risk assessment and had these jeans recertified to AA with a new ‘AA Dynamic’ model name. They will still include the CE Level 2 (the highest standard) hip and knee protectors.
It does mean that the jeans don’t offer the same level of abrasion-resistance in an accident as a pair of correctly AAA-rated jeans, so some owners may wish to return them and look for another product. You can see all our reviews of riding jeans here.
Oxford’s Original Approved AAA motorcycle riding jeans have been recalled
We spoke to Henry Rivers-Fletcher, Marketing Director at Oxford Products in Witney; “Of course we feel let down by our certification provider,” he said, “but we have to be stoic and just press on and do the right thing.
“We’ve been liaising with Trading Standards who are happy that it is a ‘customer expectations’ issue rather than a ‘customer safety’ issue, have offered helpful guidance and have approved our next steps.
“It means that we have to recall all unsold products from the markets around the world where they have been distributed and offer any unhappy customers appropriate redress.
“Thankfully, our customers are generally amazingly supportive, understand that ‘stuff happens’ and see the bigger picture.
“The recalled products will be relabelled correctly and sold as “Oxford Original Approved AA Dynamic Jeans” to reflect all the extra tech that comes with them, over and above our regular AA jeans.
“We just need space now to go through the process, look after our customers properly and keep pressing on with development of a replacement AAA product.”
It’s possible that the abrasion testing of these jeans was sub-contracted out by Mirta-Kontrol, but it’s still the notified body that certified this garment. We’ve contacted them, but they declined to comment due to confidentiality.
We have also contacted HAA (Hrvatska akreditacijska agencija), the Croatian Accreditation Agency for a comment.
If you bought a pair of Oxford Original Approved AAA jeans with the product code DM209, the shop you got them from should have been in touch to offer you the option to keep them and receive a £20 refund (which is what the re-labelled ‘AA Dynamic’ jeans will cost), or the opportunity to return them at no expense for a full refund.