The California-based company, Harbor Freight, has recalled roughly 1.7 million of its Three-ton and Six-ton Heavy Duty Steel Jack Stands after the stands were discovered to pose a serious safety risk.
According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Under load, with a potential shift in weight, on certain units the jack stand pawl may disengage from the extension lifting post, allowing the stand to drop suddenly, with potential to injure people near or under a lifted vehicle.”
Only 5% of the products are estimated to be involved, but the Harbor Freight has recalled all of them. Customers that have purchased these jacks from Harbor Freight would be provided “a gift card equal to the shelf price of these jack stands to all customers who have purchased them,” according to the NHTSA reports.
Aging Production Tools Blamed For The Jack Stand Defects
According to the NTHSA report, the issue with the six-ton jack stands was first discovered through regular quality assurance and a review of social media content on January 21, 2020. Harbor Freight then conducted an internal investigation and found that jack stands manufactured by Jiaxing Golden Roc Tools “did not meet the test requirements for assured safety.” The company recalled the item on March 13, 2020. The company discovered issues with the three-ton jack stands on the same day; however, Harbor Freight recalled the product April 24, 2020.
Both types of jack stands had been removed from inventory, the company reported in NTHSA reports.
Jack stands with the item numbers of 61196, 61197, 56371 have been included in the recall. Both of the stands, which come under the brand of Pittsburgh Automotive, were manufactured by Jiaxing Golden Roc Tools Co., Ltd and exported by Shanghai Shen Da Import and Export Co Ltd.
The three-ton stands were produced between January 1 and March 31, 2020 while the six-ton stands were produced for a much longer period between June 13, 2013 and November 22, 2019, according to the NHTSA reports.
An NHTSA report for the six-ton stands stated that “Aging of production tooling caused inconsistency in the engagement of the ratchet teeth in certain units.” The NHTSA report for the three-ton stands stated that “The manufacturing process that controls the location indexing of the pawl armature hole was inconsistent due to aging of production tooling. This caused inconsistency in the engagement of the ratchet teeth in certain units.”
No claims have been made about other jacks under the same brand name: “Harbor Freight Tools sells three-ton jack stands under the same brand but with different item numbers which are made by other manufacturers, and we evaluated those other jack stands, finding no faults.”
Last year, 1.1 million Harbor Freight Golden Brand folding knives were recalled for a faulty locking mechanism which posed a “laceration hazard.” The company received six reports of injuries from that product’s defects, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The company also recalled 150,000 Greenwood propane torches in February of last year because the trigger that was used to produce a flame failed to stop producing a flame when the trigger was lifted.