Amazon Warehouses in Southern California Fined for Coronavirus Safety Violations
Dozens of Amazon products sold under the AmazonBasics line have exploded and started fires, according to a CNN report that cites customer reviews and interviews. According to a CNN news report, at least 1,500 reviews covering more than 70 items, have described products exploding, catching fire, smoking, melting, causing electrical malfunctions or otherwise posing safety risks since 2016.
Potentially Dangerous Products
A number of customers in the reviews reportedly called the items potentially dangerous. Some of the customer reviews even included images of the explosions or the burned products. The CNN report says that about 30 items with three or more of those reviews still remain on sale on Amazon’s website while at least 11 others were no longer for sale when the report was published. Amazon also confirmed to CNN that at least one of these products had been under investigation, but said the company determined all safety standards had been met.
CNN also sent two damaged AmazonBasics products it got from customers for testing by the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering or CALCE. A USB cord sent by CNN was so burned that researchers couldn’t even determine what went wrong. But testing on a microwave found that a panel design covering the appliance’s heating device could result in it catching on fire. The microwave began sparking and smoking as soon as researchers turned it on. Yet, an Amazon spokesperson told news outlets that the AmazonBasics Microwave is safe to use.
Serious Injuries Reported
Last week, Senate Democrats called on Amazon to stop the sale of these products. The senators in particular mentioned the case of Austin Parra of Connecticut who was hospitalized with second-degree burn injuries and throat injuries from smoke inhalation after his AmazonBasics USB cord set fire to an office chair while he was asleep. Phone chargers were also said to have caused burns on people’s limbs and exploding batteries reportedly sprayed chemicals, causing burns as well, CNN reported.
As product defect attorneys, we are deeply concerned about these dangerous products that have the potential to cause serious or even deadly injuries. It’s time that Amazon stops putting profits and sales over consumer safety especially as more and more consumers turn to the online marketplace in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
If you or a loved one has been injured by AmazonBasics products, please contact an experienced product defect lawyer who can provide you with more information about pursuing your legal rights.