Harbor Freight Recalls 1.7 Million Jack Stands

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Harbor Freight is recalling some of their most popular jack stands. They sold almost two million of these handy shop tools, which are used by car enthusiasts to work on their hobby vehicles or change their oil at home.

Unfortunately, these jack stands can collapse while in use. That’s clearly a major safety issue, and Harbor Freight is taking the recall seriously. Here’s what you need to know.

What Happened?

Harbor Freight is one of the most popular budget hardware chains in America. They sell everything from tarps to tack hammers, and if you work on cars, then you’ve probably bought something from them in the last five years.

According to a statement by the retailer, “there is a potential, while under load and with a shift in weight, for the pawl to disengage from the extension lifting post, allowing the stand to drop suddenly.”

That’s very scary new for anyone who has ever tried to work until a car. The notice helpfully points out that such a collapse could “cause serious injury for people near or under a lifted vehicle, and/or damage to property.”

Recall Details

If you purchased any of the following jack stands from Harbor Freight, you need to stop using them immediately:

– Pittsburgh Automotive 6 ton heavy duty steel jack stands, part No. 61197

– Pittsburgh Automotive 3 ton heavy duty steel jack stands, part No. 56371

– Pittsburgh Automotive 3 ton heavy duty steel jack stands, part No. 61196

Pittsburgh jack stands warning
Harbor Freight

The jack stands suffered from a manufacturing defect. According to the official recall filing with the NHTSA, the pawl that is supposed to lock in the adjustable height piece of the jack was incorrectly tooled. It may not reliably hold the jack stand in place. In fact, bumping into the jack or accidentally hitting with a tool–both hazards of working in a shop–could cause it drop the vehicle.

These jacks were in production for six years before the problem became apparent. The particular models listed above have already been discontinued.

What Should You Do Next?

First of all, check all jack stands you own to make sure that the part numbers do not match the recalled units. If you do own a recalled jack stand, stop using it immediately.

Because of the coronavirus, many retail locations are closed. That includes Harbor Freight. If your local store is closed, you will have to wait to get a refund. Once the stores are open again, you can return the jack stand to the store. Because it is a discontinued product, you’ll receive a gift card equivalent to similar jack stands in stock at Harbor Freight.