Defective body armour

Armor Holdings Products has agreed to pay $30m to resolve allegations that it violated the US False Claims Act by knowingly manufacturing and selling defective Zylon bullet-proof vests.


Armor Holdings Products has agreed to pay the US $30m (£17.5m) to resolve allegations that it violated the US False Claims Act by knowingly manufacturing and selling defective Zylon bullet-proof vests.



The US Justice Department alleged that Armor Holdings manufactured and sold the Zylon bullet-proof vests, despite possessing information showing that the Zylon materials degraded quickly over time and were not suitable for ballistic use.



The vests were purchased by the federal government and by various law enforcement agencies.



The Zylon vests from Armor Holdings contained either woven Zylon or a Zylon-laminate insert called Z Shield. The Zylon fibre used in both types of vests was manufactured by Toyobo, and in July 2007, the US sued Toyobo for its manufacture and sale of Zylon to US-based body armour manufacturers.



The Z Shield insert containing Zylon was manufactured by Honeywell, and in June this year, the US sued Honeywell for its manufacture and sale of Z Shield to Armor Holdings.



The $30m settlement was part of a larger investigation of the body armour industry’s use of Zylon. The US previously settled with three other participants in the Zylon body armour industry for more than $16m.