For years consumers have complained about Remington rifles, particularly the Model 700, going off without the trigger being pulled. NBC News investigated the issue and uncovered company documents showing that engineers were discussing a new firing mechanism as far back as 1989, but it wasn’t until 17 years later that the company finally put a new fire control for the 700 on the market.
Meanwhile, plaintiffs who have suffered injuries or who have loved ones who have been injured or even killed as a result of the allegedly defective mechanisms have sought justice in court. Remington has had to defend and/or settle over 100 lawsuits concerning the issue. One of those lawsuits was a large class action, in which the parties reached a settlement agreement in December 2014.
As part of the settlement, Remington didn’t admit to any wrongdoing, but the company did agree to retrofit an estimated 7.85 million Model 700 and Seven series rifles free of charge. There are concerns, however, that millions of potential participants will fail to receive the rifle fix because they are not aware of their potential to join the class action.
Remington Agrees to Replace Allegedly Faulty Trigger Mechanism
Plaintiffs in the class action alleged that several of Remington’s rifles had defective triggers that caused accidental discharges, even when the safety was on. The parties reached a settlement in December 2014, in which Remington agreed to remove and replace the original trigger mechanism in the following guns:
- Remington Model 700
- Sportsman 78, 673, 710, 715, 770, 600, 660, 721, 722 and 725
- XP-100 bolt-action pistol
- Model 700 and Model Seven rifles with X-Mark Pro trigger mechanisms
The class action settlement was granted preliminary approval on April 14, 2015. Class members could choose to have the trigger mechanism retrofitted with a new X-Mark Pro or another connectorless trigger mechanism, or they could opt for a voucher code redeemable at Remington’s online store. As a third option, they could ask for a refund if they had already replaced the trigger mechanism with the newer X-Mark Pro.
Why Such a Low Number of Claimants?
As of December 2015, however, only 2,327 of over 7 million potential class action participants had filed a claim. In January, U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith in Missouri put the case on hold to allow the parties to develop a better plan to alert the public to the settlement terms.
In April 2016, the judge extended the plan again to June 10, as the parties stated they needed more time because of the “complexity of the issues.”
Now, an amicus letter has been filed warning that millions of Remington gun owners will miss out on the opportunity to have these allegedly defective triggers replaced because they remain unaware of the opportunity.