If you have read many of my articles, you know that I’m quite concerned about motorcyclist safety.  I’ve written several pieces about equipment and technologies that could potentially save your life or reduce injuries.  It’s an important topic.  And if there’s something out there that could save a fellow rider’s life or reduce the severity of their injuries, I’m all in.  I want all riders to be able to make an informed decision about using certain safety equipment or not.

One piece of equipment that I’ve reviewed and written about is the KLIM Ai-1 airbag vest with an In&Motion module.  After wearing the vest and after seeing how the vest functions, I believe it could help save lives or reduce the severity of injuries.  For that reason, I hope that people will take advantage of the KLIM Ai-1 airbag vest or any company’s airbag vest for that matter.  Reducing motorcyclist deaths or injuries is always a good thing.

Paying for a safety service

But something recently happened that could dissuade people from buying airbag vests with auto-inflation technology.  A recent article about the KLIM Ai-1 airbag vest titled: “This Motorcycle Airbag Vest Will Stop Working If You Miss a Payment” makes several statements which some may say are outright misleading.

For background, the KLIM Ai-1 airbag vest is a protection system comprised of an airbag vest and a sensor module called the In&Box, which is produced by a company called In&Motion.  In&Motion is the same company that produces some of the sensors used in MotoGP race suits.  Together, the two parts (the KLIM Ai-1 vest and the In&Box sensor module) make a system that automatically senses a crash and inflates the vest’s airbag.  It’s high-tech at its best.

Wrong to want to be paid?

But apparently, some people are upset that a company would want to be paid for selling a product that could save lives or reduce injuries.  The article’s headline screams, “This Motorcycle Airbag Vest Will Stop Working If You Miss A Payment.”  Such a headline could lead people to believe that with one inadvertent payment foul-up, some backroom gremlin will happily immediately, and unknown to the rider, turn off the In&Box sensor module just at the moment the rider needs it the most.  Obviously, this is not the case.  But it’s what some could be led to believe.

There are two ways to purchase the required In&Box sensor module.  You can purchase it outright or you can opt for a subscription plan which is similar to a lease-to-own program.  If you purchase the In&Box outright for $399, there’s no additional cost.  All up, you would have a fully functional airbag vest for under $800.  And the article’s complaints become moot.

Subscription-based lease/purchase

But should you choose to lease the In&Box you can choose a monthly or yearly “subscription”.  And, it’s the subscription program that the article attacks.  Interestingly, the article quotes KLIM’s Communication Manager Lukas Eddy as saying in an email:

“When it comes to missing payments and airbag functionality, In&motion’s payment notifications and 30-day grace period are reasonable—at some point, if a person stops paying for a service, that service has to be suspended, just like your utilities or a cell phone plan.  Further, if someone pauses their subscription and forgets to restart it, they won’t actually be able to get their In&box into ride-ready status when they go to turn it on. If they then choose to ignore the indicators and ride with the In&box inactive, that’s on them and we can expect it not to inflate in the event of a crash.”

Reasonably prudent person

So what’s all the hubbub about?  Would a reasonably prudent person see an expiration warning and a 30 day grace period as anything less than fair?  And even if a person has still forgotten to pay or their payment doesn’t go through, would a reasonably prudent person expect that their vest will operate when the system’s status lights tell them that the system is inactive?

Apparently, some people do.  Because according to the article:

Considering all the truly impressive technology that goes into the Ai-1 airbag vest, the prospect of someone getting seriously maimed or even killed in a motorcycle crash because their subscription to their life-preserving physical barrier got turned off occupies a particularly morbid corner of Internet-of-Things dystopian horror.

It’s puzzling.  Why anyone would expect that they could and/or should use a service that they haven’t paid for to continue to operate after multiple warnings and an in-person indication that the product will no longer work (i.e. the vest’s status lights will not indicate that the vest is ready for use)?

I hope that an intimation that KLIM and In&Motion would secretly disarm their safety product at the expense of someone’s life or injury will not dissuade anyone from buying an airbag vest from any manufacturer.  The choice of safety products is an important one.  In today’s world, you must arm yourself with as much correct information as possible.  It might not be easy, but it will be worth it.

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