Reviews raise red flags about safety of Amazon’s line of electronics, appliances, report says

A report by CNN Thursday raised concerns about the safety of Amazon’s basics products. Speaking to customers after seeing hundreds of online reviews, CNN reported that items from the AmazonBasics range, including toasters, microwaves, and charging cables, caught fire or even exploded.

A customer told CNN that a house fire started when a USB cable on an office chair melted and ignited the upholstery. Another told the publication that he noticed flames from a surge protector.

Reviews raise red flags about safety of Amazon
Reviews raise red flags about safety of Amazon

A CNN investigation has raised security concerns about some AmazonBasics products. Angela Lang / Tips Clear

Amazon responded to the investigation with a blog post stating it was working with third-party laboratories on safety and compliance standards, testing its products to make sure they meet these standards, and monitoring customer reviews. A product that fails its tests has its design removed or adjusted.

You can read reviews online for products that are still for sale. For example, the AmazonBasics voice-activated microwave has a rating earlier this week that said “it triggered the process of making popcorn and melted the insides”. However, CNN notes that the negative reviews for the microwave make up only about 5% of all reviews.

“We take the safety of our products seriously and are confident that the AmazonBasics microwave is safe to use,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement sent via email. “We are taking several steps to ensure the safety of our products, including rigorous testing by our safety teams and third-party laboratories. The device continues to meet or exceed all certification requirements set by the FDA, UL, FCC, Prop 65 and others for safety reasons were and functionality. ”

Reviews raise red flags about safety of Amazon

Amazon microwave review
A review on the Amazon website. Screenshot by Corinne Reichert / Tips Clear

How to Clean a Microwave

According to CNN, there have been around 1,500 reviews since 2016 describing more than 70 AmazonBasics products as sparking, smoking, melting, catching fire, exploding or causing electrical interference. Of those items, around 30 are currently on sale, CNN said. Amazon recalled two basics articles in 2018 and 2019 after receiving more than 50 reviews of power bank overheating and 25 reports of overheating, sparking, or burning a space heater.

Other AmazonBasics products that were included in CNN’s investigation include a two-slice toaster, portable electric hot water kettle, five-cup coffee maker, outdoor patio heater, jumper cable for car batteries, multiple surge protectors and batteries, one Thermal lamination machine and several charging cables and accessories. You can see the full list and read the entire investigation on CNN.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Robert Menendez and Edward Markey sent a letter to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, on Friday asking the retailer to remove dangerous items from its store.

“Amazon must immediately stop selling defective AmazonBasics products, notify consumers who have those products, and work with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to conduct quick and thorough product recalls to get these dangerous products out of the home remove, “says the letter.

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