“Mandatory safety recall” are three words that no company ever wishes that they have to utter about their products, but it is an unfortunate truth that sometimes products have issues with the way that they are made and those products need to be fixed. It happens to gun manufacturers too and right now this issue is striking one of the most famous rifles in the world, the FN M249S.
WHAT ARE THE ISSUES?
FN announced the recall just a few days ago affecting many different versions of their M249S. Any rifle with the product number 56460, 56501, 56509, 56502, and 56435 (Limited Edition) was wrapped up in this far-reaching recall. FN has stated that the reason for said recall is due to a reset issue with the rifle's hammer. FN went into more detail on their website about this issue, stating.
FN America, LLC, announces the mandatory recall of certain FN M249S® semi-automatic, belt-fed rifles in both standard and PARA configurations. A recently identified design issue within the hammer group of the rifle may adversely affect the rifle’s reliability. Under certain circumstances, a reset failure within the hammer group may cause the M249S to cease to function, causing an unsafe firing event. To correct this condition and restore consistent, proper and safe operation of the firearm, it is necessary to replace the hammer group.
FN is instructing customers to discontinue use of these rifles immediately and return affected products to FN directly for installation of a new hammer group, at no cost.
SOLVING THE PROBLEM
So while it is a headache for owners and a MAJOR headache for FN itself, it seems that the company is handling its issues in the best way it possibly can. Allowing free alterations is just about the best way a company can save face in the wake of a malfunctioning product. It's clear that the company and their employees are going to be hard at work over the coming days, weeks, and months, but instead of waiting around for a customer of theirs to be injured or worse by this, FN took the initiative, admitted it was in the wrong and came up with the best solution that they could.
You can check if your rifle is affected by this recall, by inserting its serial number in the box on this page. You can find the serial number by looking at this diagram:
So for those of you lucky enough to own an M249S yourself, know that the issues are being dealt with by a company that truly cares about their customers. If you know someone with an M249S, please share this with them.