JACK STAND INJURIES RECALL
As most car ‘guys and gals’ know, having a set of reliable Jack Stands make good safety sense. I think I was 16 years old when I acquired my first set. They were Red two piece telescoping type that required me raise the post, line up the holes and insert a pin to lock the post in position to the base. Although this simple design was effective and foolproof, it was hard to use.
Fast forward to several years ago when I was cruising the aisles of the local Harbor Freight store amazing myself with the low cost of all of their hand and power tools, when I happened upon an Orange set. These were different in design from my old Red ones; they did not require that nagging pin to insert. Rather, they were a ratcheting, self-locking type of Jack Stand that looked easier to use, so I bought some.
Jack Stands are the most basic of safety gear that no one would ever expect to fail. In fact, a pair a Jacks Stands should always be set in place under a car or truck when raised by any type of temporary lifting device. If not, it is clearly foreseeable that a car or heavy machinery could fall on the person working underneath and seriously injury or cause death. So, what went wrong with a device that is designed to keep a 4000-pound piece of machinery from crushing you when changing your oil on a Saturday morning? I’ll tell you – KISS!
Yes we all are familiar with that old adage KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid, particularly when it involves reliability and most importantly, Safety. Let’s face it, a hydraulic jack is complex with all those moving parts, like pistons, levers, valves and fluid, so we expect that something might go wrong causing it to fail resulting in grave consequences. That’s why, as a safety precaution, we always use Jack Stands. But Jack Stand failure? Never!
Never say never, but it happened. On Friday, March 20, 2020, Harbor Freight voluntarily recalled approximately 1.7 million Jack Stands after it discovered that approximately 5%, or 85,000 individual Stands may be defective. All of the recalled Jack Stands are the ratcheting, self-locking design. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA), the defect appears to be in the self-locking ratchet mechanism that permits the Jack Stand to collapse without warning! The recall notice identifies three (3) different models, which can be returned to your nearest Harbor Freight store for a credit via a gift card.
If you have been injured because of a Jack Stand, you have rights and recourse under Florida Law. The manufacturer or seller of the product may have liability and be responsible to pay damages for persons injured or killed under several legal theories. The manufacturer, distributor and end seller are considered in the stream of commence and all may be held liable for a defective product under claims for strict liability. A product may be defective because of a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or it may be defective because the manufacturer or seller failed to properly warn of the products dangers or risk when using the product.
I know I will be checking my stands and we urge you to check yours to see if they are among the recalled models. In fact, I plan to replace the Orange ratcheting, self-locking type with a new set with the simple, pin type design. Hopefully you all are in the 95% category, but if you and anyone you know have Harbor Freight Jack Stands that have have failed, we are here to help.
Please remember to follow the CDC Covid-19 Guidelines and remain safe. We wish You and Your Family the very best during these difficult times. All of us can get through this by working together.