In a settlement agreement intended to avoid a protracted class action lawsuit, Remington Outdoor Company has said it will replace millions of triggers for more than a dozen of its most popular rifles after some owners alleged a faulty design caused the firearms to inadvertently discharge.
In a statement released by the nation’s oldest gun maker Dec. 6, the company said it would replace the so-called “Walker trigger” in a dozen variants of the Model 700 rifle at the customer’s request.
“This economic settlement provides an avenue for consumers, who have certain Remington rifles, to voluntarily have a new trigger installed,” Remington said. “Remington is issuing this press release today because it is important that the terms of the proposed economic settlement be accurately described, as Remington does not want its customers to be confused or misled.”
Several news stories have documented cases where shooters of Remington Model 700 bolt-action rifles have fired without a trigger pull, sometimes discharging when the bolt is locked forward or when the safety is disengaged. Remington claims there is no design flaw with the trigger and has said the unintended discharges are the result of user error.
CNBC is reporting that Remington will replace triggers in nearly 8 million rifles fearing a lengthy class action lawsuit by victims of the reported trigger flaws.
In its report, CNBC says Remington agreed to replace the triggers "to avoid the uncertainties and expense of protracted litigation."
Grand View Outdoors spoke with Remington Outdoor Company director of public affairs Teddy Novin who denied the news report.
"What CNBC put out is completely incorrect," he said. The Remington statement went on to say the settlement agreement — which must still be approved by a judge — does not admit the triggers are faulty and is not a “recall.”
“This [settlement] culminates from extensive mediator-supervised negotiations between lawyers for those concerned about the triggers and Remington, who while denying there is any cause for concern, always desires to ensure that its customers are satisfied with Remington products,” the plaintiffs in the Remington lawsuit said in a statement.
According to CNBC — which aired an exhaustive documentary in 2010 on the alleged misfires — the flawed triggers are linked to at least two dozen deaths and hundreds of injuries.
The plaintiffs said in their statement that Remington has agreed to replace triggers at no cost to the owner on rifle models including the Model 700, Seven, Sportsman 78, 673, 710, 715, 770, 600, 660, XP-100, 721, 722 and 725.
The settlement agreement covers rifles manufactured as far back as the 1960s — a tally that could include nearly 8 million guns, CNBC says.
This year Remington recalled thousands of its rifles with the X-Mark Pro trigger due to a manufacturing flaw that it claimed could cause unintended discharges.
News of the trigger settlement is the latest in a string of misfires with the nation's oldest gun maker, which is in the midst of a controversial move of much of its manufacturing to Huntsville, Alabama, and is reeling from a flawed launch of the R51 handgun.
Nevertheless, Remington stands by its rifles.
“It is undisputed that the Remington Model 700 is the best-selling American-made, bolt-action rifle of all time,” Remington said. “The Model 700 has also been and continues to be the tactical sniper rifle of choice for the U.S. armed forces and special operators and is widely used by state and federal law enforcement agencies.”