Consumer Information

$39 Million Settlement on Taurus Pistols; Nine Models may be Unsafe

Taurus PT-140PRO pistol that discharged when dropped

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.

Taurus PT-140PRO pistol that discharged when dropped
This image is allegedly the Taurus PT-140PRO that lead to the lawsuit.
Photo courtesy of Grandview Outdoors.

The Backstory

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.

Damning Details

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.

Good News?

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.

[dave]

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Comments (132)

  1. I have a Taurus pt 140 pro 40 caliber I have had 30 years worth of experience with guns. But this gun when I went out to target practice it wouldn’t hit anything I shot at and I didn’t know where the bullets went to. My husband put new sites on the gun didn’t help either.slide was very sloppy to the frame barrell moved around this gun is very dangerous I sent the gun back to taurus .

  2. Anyone sending in their gun is a moron unless there is an actual problem with it. Good luck getting it back. A gun is only as safe as the person who handles it. How would anyone know if their gun fires with the safety on? Why in the world would you be pulling the trigger? So, I took my pistols form the list and tried this with an empty chamber. Nothing. Would not fire.
    Also, the videos that have surfaced on the net are misleading. In one, a guy shakes a Taurus pistol and it fires. Um, it’s obvious the gun has had modifications. It wasn’t a police issued gun either, it was a confiscated gun from a criminal. See, how stupid rumors get started? No facts, just a short video with no proof of anything. The other ‘drop’ test had modified guns in it too. As an owner of one of a 1st gen millennium pt111 I can tell you that the trigger is stiff as a board and will not move even with the safety off. The 1st gen is a TRUE DAO trigger. Long hard pull for every shot. In the video it goes all the way back with zero tension when dropped. Yeah right. I think a lot of the comments on all this are over inflated and mostly fabricated by haters and trolls. Only if any of my Taurus pistols fired without me pulling the trigger or fired multiple times with one trigger pull would I see a problem. I own 7 Taurus pistols currently. Shoot any of them any day over my Glocks or any other higher price autos I own.

    Too many people jumping on the bandwagon to bash Taurus. But, whatever. I’m not promoting their pistols in any way or saying the are superior in any way. But the ones I own work quite well and have great ergonomics. No failures of any kind. Shoot what you want and leave the trash talking to the low life internet trolls.

    1. James,

      The first handgun I ever owned was a PT-24/7, and it discharges when the de-cocker is used. The block that is supposed to stop the striker from travelling forward does not come up far enough to stop the striker; the striker simply rides over the top if it. Just as in the anecdote provided by the deputy, the slide remains closed, and the empty casing remains in the chamber.

      Taurus knew that the design was unsafe, but because they’re in Brazil, and American lives aren’t a priority to them, they did nothing to address the situation. If you want a quality firearm, why would you look to a company that produces low-quality copies of everyone else’s designs? Personally, I believe that my life is worth more that the $250 difference between a Glock and a Taurus.

  3. my understanding is someone filed an exception to the ruling and it will be decided before Taurus acts. the website has not responded yet to my message.

    1. So who knows when we will see our guns again…I’m wondering it it’s going to take a law suit of all the people who have guns currently in with Taurus to get them back or the new guns they originally promised.

      Start a law suit against Taurus of all of the people that Taurus has held guns for a year or more and sue Taurus for the loss of time and the depreciation value of the guns while they were being held hostage. Or better yet sue them for the actual purchase price of each gun.

      It seems to be the only thing Taurus responds to.

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