Taurus has suffered its share of haters—as every manufacturer does. Some complaints are valid and others are simply sour grapes, operator error, or blaming the gun when it was the ammunition selection that caused the problem. However, at times, designs are flawed and fail. Remington had its recall, as did Smith and Wesson in the last few years. While the Taurus Curve and Taurus Judge changed how many shooters defined a carry gun, the Taurus’ settlement will blemish nine other models—PT-111 Millennium; PT-132 Millennium; PT-138 Millennium; PT-140 Millennium; PT-145 Millennium; PT-745 Millennium; PT-609; PT-640 and PT-24/7.
In May 2015, Taurus agreed to a $39 million settlement that satisfies a class action lawsuit, which alleges that nine different models of Taurus handguns may discharge when dropped, even though the safety is engaged. Owners of any of the nine models have the option to return their handguns to Taurus for service, receive between $150 and $200 or training in handling the firearm.
The details of the settlement also extend the warranty of the identified models. This would allow Taurus’ technicians to make the necessary repairs or replacements as detailed in the lawsuit. Because as many as 1 million guns are subject to the lawsuit and returns, and judging from the lessons of previous recalls, Taurus owners returning their firearms may expect a delay of several months—which is still better than an unsafe safety.
The process and lawsuit all began when a sheriff’s deputy from Iowa recalled dropping his Taurus PT-140PRO during a pursuit. The deputy’s sidearm discharged upon impact even though the safety was engaged. Upon inspection, it was noted that the spent case remained in the chamber. This in-and-of itself may or may not have been worthy of a legal challenge, especially if it was a defect and not a design flaw.
However, in the deputy’s September 2014 class-action lawsuit, he alleged that Taurus knew of the defect and failed to inform the public to the danger or attempt in any way to fix it. After the settlement, Taurus has not been found to be guilty of the allegation that it knew of the problem and has been forthcoming in urging the public to return any potentially affected handgun for prompt inspection and servicing.
According to the lawsuit, a few details were pretty damning. “Despite actual knowledge of the Safety Defects, Taurus has never remedied either Defect, has never issued an effective and complete warning to the public or recall of the Class Pistols and Taurus continues to falsely represent to the public that the Class Pistols are safe and reliable. In fact, Taurus is aware that individuals have been seriously injured as a result of the Safety Defects, and it is only a matter of time before more individuals are seriously injured or killed.” Other evidence went on to show Taurus was ordered to pay a $1.2 million to an Alabama man who was shot when his PT-111 dropped to the floor and discharged in 2009. The Sao Paulo, Brazil, police recalled its Taurus .40 caliber handguns after discovering the pistols could discharge with the safety engaged.
Well, if you own a Curve, Judge or any model sans the nine listed, including any of the popular G2 models there is no evidence that you have anything to worry about. However, if you own any of the affected pistols (PT-111 Millennium; PT-132 Millennium; PT-138 Millennium; PT-140 Millennium; PT-145 Millennium; PT-745 Millennium; PT-609; PT-640 and PT-24/7) return it back to Taurus quickly and be safe.
What is your take on the settlement? Do you own a Taurus? What has your experience been like? Share your thoughts, experiences and tips in the comment section.