Santa Clara, CA: A defective products class action lawsuit has been filed against the gun manufacturer Century Arms, alleging the safety levers on certain models are defective.
Specifically, the lawsuit contends that numerous Century-branded AK rifles and pistols are equipped with a safety selector lever that can be pushed above the "safe"position. In turn, a user can then unknowingly disengage the safety mechanism and accidentally discharge the gun without pulling the trigger.
According to the complaint, the problem is linked to the firearm' "inadequate design, manufacturing, and testing,"and adds the feature "will not prevent and has not prevented accidental discharge of the guns."
Further, the plaintiffs cite a YouTube video which shows the alleged defect as being the result of Century maintaining a full-auto safety selector rather than modifying it with a semi-auto safety selector, much like its competitors.
Based in Delray Beach, Florida, Century is a known importer of Russian surplus weapons including AK-47 rifles. According to federal law, the company must modify the firearms to comply with U.S. regulations before entering them in commerce.
The plaintiffs contend that Century is aware of the defect as it changed the safety selector on current models. However, the lawsuit notes, Century has never issued a warning to the public or recalled defective models.
"Century is aware that the Class AK-47 Rifles and Pistols have fired as result of the Safety Selector defect, and it is only a matter of time, if not already, before individuals are seriously injured or killed,"the lawsuit states.
The class consists of plaintiffs from across the US who have experienced an unintentional discharge with their Century firearm due to the safety lever. In most of the cases, the safety lever advanced beyond the safe position to cause the gun to fire without the pull of the trigger. In one case, a round discharged inside an apartment, ripping through the wall and entering the neighboring unit. None of the instances resulted in injury or death.
The class action suit accuses Century of violating 10 counts of state and federal laws that protect consumers.