Sig Sauer has been named in a $2.5 million lawsuit alleging the firearms manufacturer sold the New Jersey State Police defective pistols and then failed to fix the issue.
According to the lawsuit, Sig Sauer signed a contract to supply 3,000 handguns to New Jersey State Police in May, 2011. During initial testing there were no issues, but when Troopers used the new P229 pistols during a qualification session in September 2014, they experienced “Failure to Extract” malfunctions, according to the complaint filed in late April.
“The weapons failed to eject the spent shell casing from the barrel after being fired, causing the next cartridge to become jammed behind the casing, and resulting in an inability to continue firing the weapon (FTE),” the complaint read. “An FTE malfunction renders a gun unfit for police use because a Trooper may be unable to fire more than one round of ammunition in a life-threatening situation.”
For the next sixteen months Sig Sauer attempted multiple remedies to solve the problem including replacing the extracting pins and barrels and eventually replacing the guns themselves. The State Police tested the Sig Sauer P229 Legacy in 2011, but after signing a contract in 2014, they ended up sending a different version of the firearm, called the P229 Enhanced Elite. Even after the switch, the firearms were still malfunctioning during testing. After numerous failures, the training session was canceled.
In fear that state troopers safety would be jeopardized, the State Police abandoned the Sig Sauers on February 1, 2016 and awarded the contract to Glock.
For a full refund for the P229s, New Jersey is seeking $1.7 million and an additional $856,680 for accompanying holsters and the costs for testing and evaluating guns.