An extensive CNN investigation report reveals that despite several AmazonBasics products catching fire when used, the same products are still being sold on the company’s website
- AmazonBasics products catching fire
- What reviews showed
- Taking down products and recalls
- Products sent to be professionally examined
- Amazon’s response
The online shopping company, Amazon
AmazonBasics products catching fire
According to a CNN report, an investigation of customer reviews and interviews revealed that several AmazonBasics products had been catching fire. AmazonBasics is an Amazon product line that sells several essential items including a diverse line of electronics. Despite the risk that the products pose and the danger it could cause consumers, some of the products still have not been taken down.
What reviews showed
The report showed that at least 1,500 reviews across more than 70 products had customer complaints about the products exploding, catching fire, smoking, melting, causing electronic malfunctions, and posing some type of risk. The CNN report began examining these products’ websites’ reviews.
In these reviews, consumers referred to some of the AmazonBasics products with words like “hazard” and “fire.” There were even pictures of the burnt products attached to some of the reviews. Furthermore, some reviews called on Amazon to recall the malfunctioning electronic items that posed threats.
Taking down products and recalls
Since the CNN report, Amazon took down some products that customers reported to be dangerous including the USB cable and surge protector. However many of these products that have received complaints remain on sale on the Amazon website.
CNN says, “Within more than 1,500 reviews, many consumers explicitly called out items as potentially dangerous — using terms such as “hazard” or “fire” or saying the product should be recalled. Around 30 items with three or more reviews like this remain for sale on Amazon.com today. At least 11 other products that fit this criteria were no longer for sale at the time of publication. Some became unavailable after CNN began its reporting, and at least four product pages were removed from the retailer’s site entirely — leaving behind dead URLs known by employees as “dog pages.” Amazon confirmed that at least eight of these products had been under investigation, but said the company determined they all met its safety standards.”
Products sent to be professionally examined
CNN had also included that they sent two damaged AmazonBasics products to be tested by the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering(CALCE). The USB cord that was sent was too burnt to be inspected but upon investigating the microwave, it was determined that the machine’s heating device could result in it catching fire.
According to CNN, Amazon has only recalled two AmazonBasics products and the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC) has only received at least 10 reports over 8 years that mention an AmazonBasics product with similar concerns as those reported in the CNN report.
When questioned by CNN about the products, Amazon pointed to specific reasons why certain products met the safety standards. It also pointed to how the company removed products in some cases after reports of malfunction.
In a statement to The Hill regarding the AmazonBasics microwave, an Amazon spokesperson said that, “We take several steps to ensure our products are safe including rigorous testing by our safety teams and third party labs. The appliance continues to meet or exceed all certification requirements established by the FDA, UL, FCC, Prop 65, and others for safety and functionality.” The spokesperson added that “safety is a top priority at Amazon” and that the company takes “a number of proactive steps to ensure this.”
According to The Verge, the company has received similar criticism before for selling defective products. In the past decade, The Verge reported in January that there were more than 60 federal lawsuits over product liability toward Amazon.