In 2009, online retail giant Amazon launched AmazonBasics, a branch of Amazon that creates everyday items with a similar quality and lower price than competitors. Selling everything from charging cables to microwaves, AmazonBasics products have been flying off the computer screen and into consumers homes faster than ever due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has seen millions of Americans stuck at home.
Yet over the past four years, over 70 AmazonBasics items have been reported as hazardous by consumers. A recent CNN story revealed the startling extent of the dangers posed by these products – smoking, melting, catching on fire, and exploding in people’s homes. If you have been injured or suffered property damage due to an AmazonBasics fire or explosion, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries and damages. The lawyers at McEldrew Purtell have helped bring justice to hundreds of people who have been injured through no fault of their own, and can offer you a free consultation to see if you have a case.
Which Amazon Products Are Catching on Fire?
Flames shot out of a surge protector placed next to a babies nursery. Chemicals sprayed out of an exploding battery onto someone’s face. A man was hospitalized after his phone charger caught his chair on fire. Fireballs spewed out of a paper shredder that turned on by itself. These are just some of the horror stories consumers are reporting after using AmazonBasic items.
Yet with over 70 AmazonBasic items sharing a combined total of 1,500 reviews by consumers describing dangerous fires, explosions, and more, Amazon has only publicly recalled two AmazonBasic items. Besides these two items, a powerbank and a space heater, Amazon has yet to publicly acknowledge that their products have any safety issues.
One surge protector garnered over 40 reviews warning potential buyers that the item was a fire hazard. Yet Amazon continued to sell the item for two years, offering no warnings to consumers. While this item is no longer listed on Amazon’s website, it has not been officially recalled. This means there are still consumers who are using this item, unaware of how dangerous it might be. After CNN’s explosive report, Amazon pulled several items from their website, but around 30 items with three or more reviews citing fire hazards were still listed for sale.
What Causes AmazonBasic Products to Catch on Fire?
Electrical problems are not uncommon with small appliances. Electrical issues can be caused by:
- User error
- Faulty wiring in the home
- Using a defective device in conjunction with an AmazonBasic product
But experts agree that when an electronic device is well made and used properly by consumers, it should rarely, if ever, pose a threat. The sheer volume of negative reviews left for these products greatly increases the chance that there is an issue in their manufacturing or design.
Consumers trust that highly-rated items, branded with Amazon’s name, are safe and reliable. But former Amazon employees have stated on the record that they witnessed items being pushed through the development stage so they could be made faster and to cut costs, and Amazon continues to offer little to no information about how it will address these growing concerns.
When Should I Contact a Lawyer About an AmazonBasics Fire?
In early 2019, a man who suffered second degree burns from a defective AmazonBasics USB cable filed a lawsuit against Amazon. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. Despite these horrific injuries, the cord was not pulled from Amazon’s website until at least five months after the fire occurred, and CNN uncovered that there were warnings from other customers that this product was a fire hazard at least a year prior to the incident.
Until Amazon issues product recalls for these dangerous products, consumers are at risk. If you have purchased an AmazonBasics product and been injured as a result, you deserve justice. No company, no matter how large, should prioritize cheap and efficient production above the safety of their consumers. Contact the skilled lawyers at McEldrew Purtell today to receive your free consultation by calling 1-866-869-5318 or by filling out our form.