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Harbor Freight

The Harbor Freight saga continues, with the company now issuing a recall of the jack stands meant to replace earlier jack stands recalled due to their collapse risk.

After calling back its 3- and 6-ton Pittsburgh brand stands, the tool company learned of a mechanic who did exactly as he was told, trading in his old, defective 3-ton stands for a new set. However, the new stands couldn’t handle the weight of a Volkswagen Golf. So here we are.

A notice on Harbor Freight’s webpage lists the item numbers of an expanded list of products, describing what kind of refund or store credit owners can expect when they turn them in. You’re encouraged to shop, of course.

The new list is more extensive than previous, and now including 12-ton models. Initially, the issue was that the stands could collapse suddenly when burdened with the weight of a vehicle. There’s still a callback on those models; the latest list concerns models that, while not recalled due to safety concerns, some owners might not feel comfortable using. It’s a good faith gesture on the part of the company.

However, the 3-ton model whose base split along a weld after encountering a Golf is under recall. Via a letter to customers published by Road & Track, Harbor Freight owner and founder Eric Smidt apologized for the loss of customer trust.

“I’m disappointed and embarrassed because we’ve identified a welding defect in a small number of the Pittsburgh 3 ton steel jack stands (SKU 56373) that replaced the recalled jack stands,” Smidt said. “We’re now adding these jack stands to our recall. Unfortunately, this defect wasn’t discovered during the initial recall investigation.”

He added that the rest of the company’s jack stands were examined for the same fault, and turned up nothing. In  the second explicit apology of the letter, Smidt said, “While we’ve dramatically grown our team of engineers and inspectors, and intensified our tests and inspections, I assure you that the lessons learned from this will drive further improvement.”

[Image: Harbor Freight]

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