Federal regulators are investigating service jacks sold with Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans because of reports that they can fail and cause the vehicle to fall.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says on its website that in one case, a person working under a van was killed when it fell off the jack.
NHTSA says in the failures reported, the jacks appear to have failed at the slotted hinge joints, which separated under the vehicle's weight.
The problem involves jacks on about 205,661 minivans made during the 2004 and 2005 model years. NHTSA says it's investigating the issue to determine if a safety defect exists.
The agency notes that it recommends that any jacks that come with vehicles be used only for changing tires.