Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Harbor Freight Jack Stand Can Collapse While Under Loads

A Harbor Freight jack stand lawsuit alleges 1.7 million stands in the U.S. were sold with defects that made the jack stands too dangerous to use.

The jack stand class action lawsuit includes all consumers nationwide who purchased Harbor Freight jack stands with item numbers 56371, 611196 or 61197. The lawsuit follows a Pittsburgh automotive jack stand recall of 3-ton and 6-ton heavy duty steel jack stands sold by Harbor Freight.

According to the lawsuit, every jack stand has manufacturing defects which cause the ratchet teeth on the jack stand lifting extension post to inconsistently engage the pawl deep enough. In addition, the 3-ton jack stands allegedly have inconsistent location indexing of the pawl armature holes.

Georgia plaintiff Markeith Mitchell purchased the 6-ton stands and used them a few times but allegedly experienced slip on the ratcheting mechanism while lifting his truck. While he had safety mechanisms in place to catch the vehicle before it slammed into the ground, he stopped using the jack stands because he felt they were dangerous.

Mitchell says he tried to return the jack stands to the Harbor Freight store but was told they were no longer under warranty and couldn’t be returned. The plaintiff alleges he received no value from the stands, and he tossed them out because they were too dangerous to use.

The class action lawsuit says the sales of the jack stands were negligent because the stands were “unmerchantable” and unfit for their intended purposes. The jack stands were also allegedly unreasonably dangerous and caused damage to all buyers because the “jack stands were worthless in the condition they were purchased.”

The Harbor Freight jack stand lawsuit brings claims for breach of warranty, negligence, and product liability.

 

Harbor Freight Jack Stands Recalled Again Over Weld Defects

Harbor Freight Company founder Eric Smidt announced the company had discovered a new welding defect in its three-ton jack stands significant enough to warrant a voluntary safety recall. These jack stands that are subject to the latest recall were supposed to be the safe alternatives to the faulty, previously recalled jack stands.

In May, Harbor Freight issued a recall of 454,000 jack stands manufactured between 2013 and 2019 over fears that the products could collapse and cause serious injury or death.

Nearly two months after the original recall, it became clear that a new problem was present and that it affected even more jack stands sold by Harbor Freight.

Harbor Freight said that it had “identified a welding defect” in some of its three-ton Pittsburgh-branded jack stands and have since added the units to its recall. Engineers also investigated other jack stands that it sells and were not able to identify any defects, however as a precautionary measure, the retailer is offering to exchange any of its jack stands for customers who have safety concerns.

Customers should check the item number on their jack stands and use the Harbor Freight website to verify that their product is included on the recall.

Depending on the specific model, customers can exchange the units for a cash refund between $24.99 and $11.99, or store credit of $29.99 and $143.99.

 

Harbor Freight Customer’s Replacement Jack Stands are Also Faulty

Harbor Freight jack stands were subject to a massive recall earlier in the year. The recall applied to a total of 454,000 jack stands made between 2013 and 2019. Unfortunately, the replacements for these products may be defective as well.

Mike Galli was using the replacements he got for his recalled Harbor Freight jack stands to do some maintenance work on his Volkswagen Golf. When the full weight of the car was lowered onto the stands, he heard a loud pop from one of the bases of the jack stands splitting apart.

“Not too sure how a three-ton jack stand can’t handle the weight of a Volkswagen Golf,” Galli said. “It was the first time using them as well after having swapped the previous recalled ones out.”

The stand failed right at the weld holding the metal that was used for the base together. A couple of commenters on a social media post mentioned having similar issues as seen from Galli’s photos.

Harbor Freight is investigating the current issue with the replacement jack stands. The company issued the following statement:

“At Harbor Freight, the safety and well-being of our customers is of primary importance, as is the quality of our products. We take these matters very seriously and have already reached out to the customer to gather more information so that we may investigate this issue in depth.”

 

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