The very recent recalls of the Harbor Freight Steel Jack Stands have brought to light an alarming safety hazard and source of severe injuries that cause over 4,500 injuries each year according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NHTSA).
With over 1.7 million Pittsburgh 3-Ton and 6-Ton Jack Stands recalled to potential for severe injury and death from a jack stand collapse remains an incredible risk. With decades of experience getting justice for injury victims, our jack stand collapse attorneys can help you or a loved one get suitable compensation for their injuries or possible death. We have always offered a free case evaluation and you won’t pay a dime unless we win.
How Dangerous Are Floor Stand Jacks?
Even without recallable manufacturing defects, jack stands remain a dangerous tool for any business or individual needing to jack a vehicle up for repair. Over 4,822 people were injured by collapsing jacks annually according to an NHTSA report, with over 96% of the individuals needing to visit the emergency room. Currently – there is no concise study available on any fatal injuries caused by collapsing jack stands.
Of these 4,800+ injuries, the NHTSA broke them down into the following injury types:
- 5% – Amputations
- 40% – Contusions
- 15% – Fractures
- 18% – Lacerations
- 10% – Strains or Sprains
- 13% – Other Injuries
In over 39% of these cases – the hand, wrist, or fingers were injured by the jack stand collapse.
Our attorneys understand the law surrounding these incidents, and by calling us at 1-800-590-4116 we can help you learn whether or not you have a case with no fees required.
The May 2020 Harbor Freight Jack Stand Recalls
After years of complaints, the NHTSA finally issued a recall of over 1.7 Million Pittsburgh Automotive® 3-Ton and 6-Ton Heavy-Duty Steel Jack Stands.
Harbor Freight is generally known for producing cheap tools and severe manufacturing defects within their Chinese factory led to the possibility of these stands collapsing suddenly under large loads. This collapse can result in serious injuries and even death.
The July 2020 Harbor Freight Jack Stand Recall
Harbor freight put out a new batch of jacks to replace the ones that had to be recalled, however, in July of 2020, just a few months later, the new 3-ton jacks also had to be recalled due to a manufacturing issue. A number of these new jack stands were failing and collapsing as the old batch had, except for a different reason this time. While the exact cause of the manufacturing issue has not been reported, the cause of these collapses is a defect in the welding of the jack stand. In response, the company has issued a recall to cover many of the jacks that people had bought to replace the jacks that had already been recalled.
What Harbor Freight Products Were Recalled?
In March 2020, an initial 454,000 Pittsburgh Automotive 6-Ton Heavy Duty Steel Jack Stands were recalled by Harbor Freight. Only months later in May 2020, an additional 3-Ton Heavy Duty Steel Jack Stands were recalled due to the same manufacturing defect. In July 2020, more 3-Ton Heavy Duty Jack Stands were recalled, due to an issue with the welding which caused them to collapse.
What Manufacturing Defects Caused These Harbor Freight Jack Recalls?
The first two instances of these product recalls were linked to manufacturing defects within a manufacturer called Jiaxing Golden Roc Tools Co., Ltd. An analysis of these jack stands determined that the product quality was inconsistent due to aged tooling – and due to this the gears used to keep the load aloft are prone to slippage. In addition an inconsistent location of the main pawl armature hole also caused a margin of error which further exacerbated the issue.
The latest recall was due to a defect in the quality of the welding of load bearing pieces in the jack. When these welded joints received a heavy load, the stress caused them to snap and the jack to collapse, putting Harbor Freight customers in danger again due to twisting metal and falling loads.
This kind of welding defect could have a number of causes. If the joints don’t get hot enough when they’re formed, several issues could occur. For welding to be done successfully, both of the pieces have to be hot. This is because welding is basically fusing together two pieces of metal, until they become combined on the molecular level, if one of the pieces is too cold, that means it’s material won’t be altered enough to accept the fusing. The outcome of this is that if both pieces aren’t adequately heated at the same time, you’re essentially sticking one piece of metal onto another instead of fusing them together, creating a weak joint.
The failures of the July 3-Ton Jack Stand could also be due to cracking. This is a common defect that happens within the joints of the weld. It happens when the heated metal gets cooled rapidly, causing a build up of stress that makes cracks appear in the metal. A common process, annealing, is used to prevent this kind of issue from happening. By reheating the weld to a lower temperature than the original one and allowing the metal to then naturally cool, the metal refuses but undergoes less stress while cooling. Of course, cutting corners on these product quality steps is one way that suppliers and manufacturers are able to cut costs, unfortunately, the result is that the customer on the receiving end can be put at unnecessary risk.
Weld problems could also be a result of distortions, oxidation, slag, and corrosion, many issues that can be caused by poor quality base metals.
With such a large load depending on these jack stands, even a small defect can have catastrophic responses for those individuals working around the lifted load.
How Were The Defective Harbor Freight Jack Stands Failing?
If affected by the May defect, the ratchet teeth on the jack stand lifting extension were inconsistency engaging the pawl, which provides the support for the load. Due to the manufacturing defects these ratchet teeth were not engaging at an appropriate depth which could cause sudden slippage.
While under load, potential shifts in weight were causing these gear teeth to slip suddenly, which would cause the jack stand to collapse and potentially injure any bystanders.
In the case of the July defect, the top stand that holds the arm of the jack is also the place where the teeth and levering action are located, because of the pyramid shape of the stand, the top of the stand had to be fused by welding. However, because this is where the levering action is located and where the arm meets the base, the area has to absorb a lot of stress, and the welds could not handle it and would fail, causing the entire jack to collapse.
How Can Our Jack Stand Collapse Attorneys Help You?
Our team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt have helped bring justice to hundreds of individuals that were injured through no fault of their own. Our team provides a free consultation so we can help you understand whether or not your injuries deserve compensation. Throughout the entire process – you won’t pay a single dime. We don’t charge any fee unless we win your case.
If you or a loved one owns or has been injured by a jack stand collapse, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately at 1-800-590-4116 so we can help you determine whether or not you have a case.