KEY POINTS

  • Dozens of AmazonBasics products received negative feedback last year
  • According to customers, the products melted or began smoking
  • There were also those that reportedly sparked or started a fire
  • The eight products currently being reviewed are just some of them

At least eight AmazonBasics products are currently being probed by U.S. regulators over safety concerns. Reports about the review surfaced after CNN received letters from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in response to requests for public records.

Involved in the reports are AmazonBasics products such as battery chargers, phone charging cords, surge protectors, a patio heater and a microwave that responds to a voice command, according to CNN.

The eight products are just some of the more than 70 electronic goods from the company that received negative customer feedback last year. These products had hundreds of reviews claiming they melted, began smoking, exploded or started a house fire, a September 2020 report from CNN revealed.

Authorities ordered the company to recall any products that pose serious safety concerns. Lawmakers also called on AmazonBasics to halt the affected products' sales and conduct an investigation.

However, reports claimed that the risk-potential AmazonBasics electronic products remained for sale on the company's official web store.

One of the incidents cited by the 2020 report was a house fire that took place in 2017 after an AmazonBasics USB cord sparked like a blowtorch.

It also mentioned a product review from a customer claiming that the surge protector he purchased from the web store started a fire in his house in 2018. According to the customer, Amazon denied liability on the incident yet paid $1,500 in a settlement to cover the damage. The company reportedly continued selling the surge protector even after the review was posted.

It was only in 2019 that Amazon removed the surge protector from its website, seemingly after CNN began asking the company for any reaction to the affected customers' product reviews. The company did not provide its customers any explanation for why the products were removed.

AmazonBasics is Amazon's popular private label line, which offers budget-friendly products. Its products include household appliances, office accessories, home goods and consumer electronics.

Meanwhile, the CPSC did not provide any specific details about the investigation. The agency could not comment on the matter, one of its representatives said as per Business Insider India.

Amazon also refused to comment on the CPSC investigation. However, the world's largest online retailer assured the public that every report of potential safety concerns is evaluated and well taken care of.

Workers at Amazon will only be made to undergo testing for marijuana use in the event of an incident Workers at Amazon will only be made to undergo testing for marijuana use in the event of an incident Photo: AFP / David Becker