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What’s the Problem With Harbor Freight Tools USA Chainsaws?
If you purchased one of the recalled chainsaws, you should stop using it immediately and return it to the point of purchase for a refund, CPSC said. Replacement saws were distributed to Harbor Freight locations on May 21, 2018.
The recall affects 2 models of Chinese-made 14-inch chainsaws sold under the following brand names “Portland,” “One Stop Garden,” and “Chicago Electric.” The Portland and One Stop Garden saws are green and black with the word "Portland" printed on the blades. The Chicago Electric is red and black and has the words "Chicago Electric" on the handle.
The company has also recently issued a recall of a popular defective jack stand that can collapse without warning on a user causing serious injury or death.
Harbor Freight Class Action Lawsuit
A class action lawsuit has been filed by two consumers alleging that the company sold recalled chainsaws that do not power down, even when the power switch is turned off.
Plaintiffs Will Kaupelis and Frank Ortega say they purchased the Portland, One Stop Gardens, and Chicago Electric 14-inch electric chainsaws not knowing that the tools were defective.
The lawsuit states, “An electric chainsaw that takes on a life of its own by not turning off when necessary is extraordinarily dangerous..and this defect rendered the Products unsuitable for their principal and intended purpose.”
In fact, “the product packaging specifically called-out the ‘Safety Lock-Out Switch,’ conveying the impression that the product was specially designed to prevent it from unintended or undesired operation,” the class action alleges.
The lawsuit states that a recall was issued by the defendant in May 2018, but only two percent of the products were returned.
The plaintiffs say this number is low because Harbor Freight Tools suppressed returns in numerous ways: The recall was publicized only briefly, a link on the company's website detailing the recall was very small and inconspicuous, they only mailed recall notices to a small percentage of customers, and they failed to contact customers who purchased the chainsaws online.
“Online safety reports to the CPSC [Consumer Product Safety Commission] show that Harbor Freight knew or should have known of the defect since at least 2014, yet it continued to sell the defective products anyway,” the lawsuit states.
The CPSC reportedly received numerous complaints about the chainsaws before a recall was issued on the products.
The lawsuit continues by stating, “Harbor Freight’s management knew or should have known about the complaints referenced above as soon as they began appearing on the CPSC website in 2014, and in any event no later than November 2016.”
Kaupelis and Ortega claim the company is in violation of California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act, California’s Unfair Competition Law, and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
The class action lawsuit also brings allegations of fraud, unjust enrichment, and breach of implied warranty.
The lawsuit is: Kaupelis, et al. v. Harbor Freight Tools Inc., Case No. 8:19-cv-01203, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Harbor Freight Chainsaw Settlement Information
Consumers who purchased certain chainsaws from Harbor Freight may be eligible to receive replacement products or up to $50 in cash or gift cards thanks to a class action settlement agreement.
The Class is made up of anyone in the United States or in United States territories who purchased Portland, Chicago Electric, or One Stop Gardens 14-inch electric chainsaws (SKU Nos. 67255 or 61592) from Harbor Freight stores between March 11, 2011, and Feb. 6, 2018.
A class action lawsuit claimed Harbor Freight sold chainsaws which were subject to a recall. Harbor Freight denies all allegations of wrongdoing, and the Court has not ruled in favor of either party. Both parties believe the settlement to be in the Class’ best interest.
Settlement payout amounts depend on Class Members’ choice of benefits and whether they can provide proof of purchase or proof of destruction of the products at issue.
Class Members who submit claim forms by Nov. 24, 2021, without proof of purchase may be entitled to receive a $10 cash payment or a $25 gift card, limited to one claim per household and ISP address.
Class Members who submit claim forms by Nov. 24, 2021, with proof of purchase or proof of destruction may receive up to $50 in cash or gift card form for each Class Product purchased, if they attest they did not participate in the recall and prior disposal of the chainsaw.
Class Members who return the chainsaws affected by the settlement to a Harbor Freight store can also receive a replacement chainsaw anytime, or up to $50 in cash or gift card form if they return the chainsaw to the store before Nov. 24, 2021.
Anyone who wishes to object to or be excluded from the settlement must also do so by Nov. 24, 2021.
A final hearing was held on Jan. 10, 2022.
The class consists of anyone living in the United States or any of its territories, such as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and who purchased one or more qualifying chainsaws from Harbor Freight stores in the United States or U.S. territories, between March 11, 2011, and Feb. 6, 2018.
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Do I Have a Harbor Freight Chainsaw Recall Lawsuit?
The Product Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Harbor Freight Chainsaw Recall Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you were hacked, cut or maimed by a defective chainsaw, you should contact our law firm immediately for a free review. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.