One of the biggest fears most people have while working underneath a car is the jack suddenly slipping or collapsing. That's why tool manufacturers produce something called a jack stand to provide a more secure and stable means to prop up a vehicle.
However, it seems one of the most popular tools companies, Harbor Freight, has just issued a recall for their jack stands. The reason: these safety devices could collapse.
According to Harbor Freight, the jack stand you might have bought, borrowed, or used is currently being recalled due to the risk of collapsing under load. The tools company recently filed a recall with the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in the US last March explaining that the pawl (the bar that engages the teeth on the jack) on certain 6-ton jacks “may disengage from the extension lifting post, allowing the stand to drop suddenly”. A second recall, filed May 3, expanded the recall to 3-ton jacks as well. The defect is being attributed to the aging tooling machines at their factory that produced the jack stands.
According to the document, the problem affects both 3-ton and 6-ton jack stands produced between 2012-2020. Specifically, there are around 450,000 6-ton jack stands produced between 2013 and 2019, and nearly 1.3 million 3-ton jack stands produced between 2012 and 2020. The jack stands being recalled were sold under the Pittsburg brand name and had item numbers: 56371, 61196, and 61197.
A jack stand is one of the most essential tools needed when working on any kind of vehicle. But if you happen to have one of the following Harbor Freight jack stands at home, we suggest you put them aside for now. A failure could be fatal.
Always check your tools and equipment, particularly essential ones like a jack stand -regardless of manufacturer- if they're build to high standards.