People make all kinds of jokes about the quality of tools and equipment that come from Harbor Freight. The truth is that despite its cheapness and tendency to break after a couple of uses, most of the stuff from Harbor Freight is fine. It makes the car industry possible for many enthusiasts on limited budgets, especially when it pertains to things like jacks and jack stands.
It’s the latter of those two that has come back to bite us in the ass, because Harbor Freight is now recalling its Pittsburgh-brand three- and six-ton jack stands over risks that they could collapse during use, according to a filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (PDF) from March 20, and first reported on by The Drive on Tuesday.
The company is specifically recalling 454,000 units with model numbers 56371, 61196 and 61197. You can find these numbers (PDF) on the label on the top part of the stand on three-ton units, or a yellow sticker on the base on six-ton units.
According to Harbor Freight’s NHTSA filing, the problem with these jack stands is that due to worn tooling at the factory, the pawl that engages with the toothed height-adjustable part of the stand doesn’t do so sufficiently to reliably lock it in place. A bump or a knock could cause the pawl to disengage, dropping the vehicle suddenly.
With 454,000 units in question, the odds are good that you or someone you know owns a set of these, so please go and check them now and urge your family and friends to do so too. The exchange process is as simple as bringing your affected jack stands to your local Harbor Freight, once stores are reopened, where you’ll be reimbursed for them with a store gift card for the current shelf price of comparable models.
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