While it’s no secret that Amazon has a historical past of hosting unsafe products from third-party sellers on its platform, a recent CNN investigation discovered that the corporate’s own AmazonBasics line is perhaps just as hazardous based on customer reviews.
CNN reporters recognized more than 1,500 reviews about AmazonBasics electronics and appliances from U.S. customers since 2016 that complained concerning the products bursting into flames, melting, causing electrical malfunctions, and different safety-related issues. The reviews covered more than 70 items and described horrifying scenes of batteries exploding, car chargers sparking electrical fires, and in at least one case, a paper shredder mysteriously turning itself on and blowing up in a “fireball.”
More than 10% of the reviews analyzed by CNN regarding products catching fire, and almost 200 customers described damage to their properties or possessions. Nearly all had been “verified purchases”—which means Amazon confirmed the customer actually purchased the product on its market—and several other included disturbing photographs of the charred aftermath.
Amazon initially launched AmazonBasics in 2009 and sells more than 5,000 gadgets under that line from furniture to kitchen utensils and electronics. Shortly after the investigation went life, Amazon released a blog post detailing the vetting and high-quality control processes for its AmazonBasics products, which incorporates annual reviews and working with ISO/IEC 17025-accredited third-party companies to develop and maintain its testing protocols.
“We partner only with suppliers who meet our supply chain standards, and those suppliers undergo additional vetting by Amazon through a series of manufacturing and quality audits, including reviewing factory quality management systems and product quality controls,” the corporate stated Thursday.
But that hasn’t stopped reports of merchandise melting, sparking, or posing other safety hazards from piling up for years, and a few of the gadgets involved remain on the market on Amazon to this day. Roughly 30 items with three or more reviews of this nature are still on Amazon’s marketplace.
In one notably alarming case, a voice-activated AmazonBasics microwave that a buyer stated caught fire “began sparking and smoking” as soon as it was turned on by researchers the outlet enlisted in its investigation. Their testing found that a flaw within the microwave’s design might enable debris to gather behind a panel overlaying its internal heating device and potentially ignite. Despite this and dozens of similar complaints concerning the microwave posing a fire hazard, you cant still buy it on Amazon right now/
“The appliance continues to meet or exceed all certification requirements established by the FDA, UL, FCC, Prop 65, and others for safety and functionality,” a company spokesperson stated, including that “safety is a top priority at Amazon.”
Over the last eight years, the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission has acquired at least 10 reports about AmazonBasics products that point out points much like these within the reviews analyzed by CNN. And yet, Amazon has only issued two official recalls of AmazonBasics products, one in 2018 after 53 reports of portable power banks overheating (and causing chemical burns in at least one case) and one in 2019 after 25 reports of space heaters overheating, burning, or sparking. In several instances, CNN came across, objects with a number of reviews complaining of safety issues were quietly discontinued zero notice to customers who could have already purchased the item.