Harbor Freight Recalls 1.7 Million Defective Units July 16, 2020
Harbor Freight is recalling roughly 1.7 million three-ton and six-ton jack stands due to a defect that makes them more likely to collapse while load bearing, which could result in serious or fatal crushing injuries. The manufacturer first recalled nearly 500,000 of its jack stands for a similar defect just months ago, but is now being forced to issue a larger recall after identifying a potentially deadly defect in the replacement jack stands issued to consumers as well.
What are Jack Stands?
Jack stands are tower or tripod-shaped tools created to support a vehicle’s weight during suspension. Usually jack stands are positioned under a vehicle’s frame or axel to allow for access (and the ability to conduct repairs) underneath the vehicle. The first recall Harbor Freight issued cited a defect that “could cause serious injury for people near or under a lifted vehicle, and/or damage to property.” In the company’s second recall, CEO Erick Schmidt admitted that they found a welding defect in a “small number” of the jack stands that they had sent out as replacements to consumers. Because of the serious risk for injury or death, Schmidt has urged customers to immediately discontinue using any of the recalled or replacement units.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), jack stands (or other types of vehicle hoists) injure approximately 10,000 people annually. Some of these injuries are fatal. Because these jack stands are inherently dangerous and risky to use, it is particularly important that manufacturers create safe stands for consumers to use. Harbor Freight has reported at least 11 injuries – none of which have been life threatening – linked to use the company’s defective jack stands so far.
Recalled Harbor Freight Units
Harbor Freight issued both recalls due to problems with the structural integrity of their Pittsburgh 3 and 6-ton jack stand units. Manufactured by Jiaxing Golden Roc Tools Co. between December 2010 and March 31st, 2020, the recall includes the following model numbers:
If you own one of Harbor Freight’s recalled models, it is critical to stop using it immediately. You can bring a recalled unit to your local Harbor Freight store. The company is giving out gift cards that equal the retail price plus any applicable taxes.
Jack Stand Safety Tips
Since jack stands are so dangerous to use, the National Agriculture Safety Database (NASD) recommends observing the following safety tips in order to limit preventable fatal and nonfatal injuries from happening:
- Keep jacks lubricated (per recommendations) and do not use a jack stand if it is leaking fluid
- Handle jack stands with care. If they crack or the metal distorts, they may fail to load bear
- Always position the jack in the proper place. Ensure that the lift point is flat and level with the floor or ground
- If you are using a jack stand on the ground, put a long wide block under the base to prevent it from shifting, sinking, or tipping once you apply weight
- Stabilize all equipment by putting the transmission in gear or in the park position, and set the brakes. Block at least one remaining wheel on the ground to prevent dangerous and sudden movement
- Never lift a vehicle higher than necessary
- Be wary of the jack handle. Sometimes a handle will pop up or “kick” when a vehicle is being lowered. Always stand to one side while jacking equipment up or down to avoid being struck
If you would like to read more of the NASD’s safety tips, you can visit https://nasdonline.org/143/d001705/safe-use-of-jacks.html.
Dangerous Products Cause Injuries
Every year dangerous products injure thousands of consumers. Manufacturers are legally obligated to produce and sell safe products. But sometimes, they disregard their obligation and value profits over people. If a product has caused an injury due to a manufacturing defect, unsafe design, or the failure to provide clear and useful instructions, you may want to consider filing a products liability claim. To find out more about filing a claim, contact a representative who can help online now.
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