Concerns Arise Over the Safety of AmazonBasics Products

Many Report AmazonBasics Products Burning, Melting and Bursting into Flames.

A growing number of consumers have raised serious safety concerns regarding AmazonBasics products, according to a new report by CNN. In more than 1,500 reviews, consumers have used terms such as “hazard” or “fire” to describe products that they say should be recalled.

Concerning Consumer Reviews

One shopper reported a surge protector that became a “blowtorch,” with flames shooting out of the device near his baby’s nursery. Several shoppers told of phone chargers [NO1] that burned their legs and hands. In another instance, exploding batteries allegedly sprayed chemicals in one consumer’s face. According to CNN:

“A USB cord burst into flames in a parked car while a toddler was inside, according to one parent. A charger in another car was reported as starting an electrical fire on the freeway, allegedly burning the driver and a jacket. Paper shredders turned on by themselves, according to multiple consumers, and one reportedly blew up in a ‘fireball,’ burning someone's arm and singeing the hair off. And a microwave suddenly caught on fire when an 8-year-old went to heat up her macaroni and cheese cup as she had done ‘a zillion times,’ a mother claimed, saying she had to take the appliance outside and spray it with a hose.”

About 30 items with three or more concerning reviews remain for sale on Amazon today[NO2] [JS3]. At least 11 have been removed from the site. Amazon confirmed to CNN that at least eight of these products had been under investigation but said all of them met the company’s safety standards.

AmazonBasics offers more than 5,000 products, many of which are heavily promoted on its website and have become bestsellers. Due to the ongoing COVID-19[NO4] [JS5] pandemic, sales have surged as numerous Americans forgo traditional stores and opt for online shopping.

Many customers wrote in their reviews, as well as told CNN in interviews, that they trusted their AmazonBasics purchases would be “safe and well made since they were branded with Amazon’s name and frequently touted as Amazon’s Choice. ” [NO6] According to CNN, the company has provided little to no information about how it is handling reports that claim its products are unsafe.

Amazon’s History with Unsafe Products

Amazon has come under fire for allowing third parties to sell allegedly dangerous merchandise in the past. Multiple court rulings have found that the tech giant “can be held liable for defective items sold in its third-party marketplace.” All businesses are required by law to immediately report “potentially hazardous” items to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The agency then determines whether a product should be recalled.

Amazon publicly recalled two AmazonBasics products in 2018 and 2019 after receiving more than 50 reports of power banks overheating, as well as 25 complaints regarding space heaters overheating. At least 10 reports specifically mentioning AmazonBasics products have been made to the CPSC involving eight items since 2012. Beyond the two official recalls, Amazon has not acknowledged allegations that AmazonBasics products are unsafe.

If you or a loved one has experienced issues with AmazonBasics or Amazon products, contact Kershaw Talley Barlow online for more information.