Made Them A Lot Of $$$
I believe that is a 'Multi-Purpose' unit. Marine EPIRB units (which ACR and a few others build) are required gear on several classes of vessel, I will not say that having them is a bad idea, only that it creates 'guaranteed income' from that sales area. Of course, many would only need to buy one so the $150 battery expiration/replacement helps in maintaining a revenue stream. Upon inspection, an 'expired' unit 'does not exist', even if it will pass the built-in self test consequently, you fail and are perhaps escorted back to your dock, not to leave until you have corrected the 'problem'. To avoid this, many mariners routinely send back their units with a check, on schedule, and insure that the mfg. remains profitable.
Expiration dates may have helped consumers over the years but probably not nearly so much as they have helped manufacturers in some fields. I had a battery pack built to replace the one in my EPIRB. According to the builder, it was equivalent to the original (I have no way to verify that) and he said that it was good for about twice the length of life that the original was 'allowed' before expiration. Perhaps the original mfg. was being 'conservative' for safety's sake but half the life and (more than) twice the price seems a bit like gouging to me.
No one calls the Fire Department because they did something smart!
06 DR 650, Moose RS Holder, Handguards and Skidplate, ProTaper bars, Garmin 60CSx, Motech racks w/ 20mm Ammo cans, Renazco 08 Scrambler, Conti Trail Attacks and BlackTiger Fork mod, 05 FSE 450, 03 KLR 250, 02 FXDX, 72 WR 250 (again), 72 SL 350 K2 (again), 72 TR6R, 06 XT 225