DIY Home Mechanics Beware, These Jack Stands Are Dangerous
If you are a frequent Harbor Freight tool-buyer like I am, you’ve probably snagged yourself a handy and inexpensive set of jack stands for your home DIY projects. If you buy tools at Harbor Freight often, you have realistic expectations as to what you are buying, but you may not realize your safety could be at risk. I’ve used several sets of Harbor Freight jack stands over the years – and my Toyota MR2 is up on some in my garage right this moment – and I never really gave it a second thought. But after reading the most recent recall, I might think twice before I slide under my car again.
What prompted the recall
The recall was made for 1.7 million jack stands that could only be purchased from Harbor Freight. The recall is being made because a failure in the jack stand’s design could potentially them to collapse, damaging your car or ATV, and causing serious potential harm to yourself or others.
This began happening because of the pawl, which could suddenly become disengaged when the load is shifted. As the pawl becomes disengages, the extension lifting post of the jack stand collapses suddenly.
If the jack stands were to fail, they could cause not only serious damage to your vehicle but also potential harm to yourself or others around you.
Which jack stands were affected?
Harbor Freight and the NHTSA have warned jack stand owners that they should discontinue use immediately – but there is no need to panic and throw your jack stands into the dumpster just yet, as only some were affected.
The jack stands in question are the Pittsburgh brand – yes, we are collectively sighing about this one. We aren’t surprised, but we are disappointed. This recall is for 3 ton and 6 ton Pittsburgh jack stands, but it is only a concern for three specific jack stands, listed by item number.
The item numbers affected are 56371, 61196, and 61197. You can find the item number on the jack stand itself on the label at the top to see if your jack stands may be affected by this recall.
Harbor freight is not currently offering a replacement for these jack stands affected, but rather store credit or a Harbor Freight gift card for the cost of the jack stands and sales tax. This can be done at your local store when quarantine restrictions have lifted and there is no set end date for the recall.