In response to a multitude of complaints, Harbor Freight has recalled 1.7 million jack stands. These products are considered extremely dangerous. If they fail while someone is under the vehicle, they could cause serious injuries and even death.
Harbor Freight is aware of six injury claims stemming from the use or assembly of these stands. Fortunately, none of the injuries were life-threatening. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has warned the public not to use these jack stands.
Jack Stands Defective and May Collapse
Harbor Freight originally recalled about 454,000 Pittsburgh Automotive 6-ton heavy-duty steel jack stands on March 20, 2020. On some of the units, the ratchet teeth on the jack stand lifting extension post could inconsistently engage the pawl to a sufficient depth. This could cause the pawl to disengage from the extension lifting post, allowing the stand to drop suddenly, which could cause injury to anyone near or under the lifted vehicle, and/or damage to property.
After quality testing and inspections, the manufacturer (Jiaxing Golden Roc Tools Co.), a Chinese company, determined that the product quality had become inconsistent due to the aging of the tooling.
On May 3, 2020, Harbor Freight expanded the March recall to include a total of 1,254,000 Pittsburgh Automotive 3-ton heavy-duty steel jack stands with the same problem. These were also made by Jiaxing Golden Roc Tools Co. The NHTSA noted at the time that although it seemed the defect arose in more recent batches, “we are not able to confirm that earlier production units do not have this issue.” Therefore, all units were recalled.
The model numbers should be found by checking the item number found on the label on the base of each jack stand. The current model numbers included in the recall are:
The stands were manufactured by Jiaxing from December 2012 through March 31, 2020.
Harbor Freight has advised consumers to stop using these jacks immediately and to bring them to local Harbor Freight stores to receive a Harbor Freight Tools gift card equal to the retail price of the stands originally purchased (plus applicable tax). Consumers can also email the company at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to data compiled by the NHTSA, about 10,000 people are seriously injured each year when using a jack or other type of hoist. The National Agriculture Safety Database (NASD) recommends these tips when using a jack stand:
• Always handle jacks carefully.
• Position the jack properly at a point that can carry the lifted weight. Make sure the lift point is flat and level with the floor or ground.
• If working on the ground, place a long wide block under the base of the jack to keep it from sinking, shifting, or tipping.
• Stabilize the equipment by putting it in park and setting the brakes. Block at least one of the wheels remaining on the ground.
• Always check the position of the jack after it has started to lift. It if leans, lower it, and reset it.
• Lift no higher than is necessary.
• Beware the jack handle—stand to one side while lifting or lowering to avoid being struck by the handle.
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.