July 4, 2015 / 11:34 AM / 2 years ago

Germany's Heckler & Koch goes to court over alleged gun faults

A HK417 assault rifle manufactured by Heckler & Koch is pictured during a guided media tour at arms factory Heckler & Koch in Oberndorf, 80 kilometers southwest of Stuttgart, Germany, May 8, 2015. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German gun maker Heckler & Koch is going to court to rescue the reputation of its G36 gun, its signature product whose quality has been questioned by the German government.

Berlin says the G36, which is standard issue for militaries across the globe and has been used by the German army for nearly 20 years, does not shoot straight in hot weather or when it heats up through constant firing.

Germany is still reluctant to send its troops to crisis zones, 70 years after the end of World War Two. Yet until recently it encouraged its arms makers to ship their weapons around the world.

Germany has recently reversed course on arms exports following a storm of media criticism.

Heckler & Koch believes the government’s turning on one of its most successful arms makers is part of a campaign to redefine Berlin’s image in the world.

HK said late on Friday it had lodged an application with the Koblenz regional court for a declaration after the German armed forces equipment agency, its key client, made a warranty claim for alleged quality defects of the G36.

“The aim is to have it determined in a legally binding way that the alleged defects do not exist,” it said.

Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; editing by Clelia Oziel

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