General Motors is recalling 135,400 compact crossovers because their emergency jack can break under load.

The problem occurs when the jack — which is plastic — isn't positioned correctly as detailed in the owner's manual. This can cause the jack to fracture. If the jack breaks and the vehicle collapses, there's a risk of injury or death, according to an NHTSA recall alert.

The recall involves the 2020-22 Buick Encore GX and 2021-22 Chevrolet Trailblazer.

A GM test driver discovered the problem when he broke a jack during a durability test on a Trailblazer. GM started investigating in April and found 21 claims of jack failures, including one reported injury.

"This jack design may not be sufficiently robust against fractures if improperly or incorrectly positioned on the vehicle frame by the user," a NHTSA safety report said.

GM will start notifying vehicle owners July 26. It will provide free replacement jacks that are made of metal.

 

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