Two Democrats on the Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter on Wednesday to Jeff Bezos demanding answers about safety issues regarding AmazonBasics-branded products.
Chairman Frank Pallone and consumer protections subcommittee Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky sent the letter to Bezos, requesting a response by Oct. 21 to address reports that many of the defective products “were never recalled and continue to be sold” or were deleted. The two called Amazon’s oversight of its products “grossly inadequate.”
“As uncovered by CNN,” the members of Congress wrote, “users have reported that many of AmazonBasics’ popular electronic products, such as USB cables and surge protectors, have exploded, caught fire, sparked, melted, or otherwise created hazardous situations at rates well above comparable products.”
“Dozens of Amazon’s own products have been reported as dangerous,” leading to fires and even hospitalizations while remaining on the market, CNN first reported in September. “Since 2016, at least 1,500 reviews, covering more than 70 items, have described products exploding, catching on fire, smoking, melting, causing electrical malfunctions or otherwise posing risks.”
That reporting led to a letter on Sept. 11 from three Democratic senators who requested responses concerning Amazon’s tendency to “delete a [defective] product’s retail listing page, leaving behind a dead URL and removing these consumer warnings from view.”
“Unlike most retailers and manufacturers whose products have been subject to recalls,” Pallone and Schakowsky wrote on Wednesday. “Amazon’s homepage does not have a link directing consumers to where they can find more information about safety recalls. Amazon’s only help page on recalls, which itself is difficult to find on the website, bizarrely links to only two recalls of infant products from 2012 and has zero mention of its AmazonBasics recalls or any of the myriad of other recalled products sold by Amazon or third-party sellers on your platform over the years.”
The Washington Examiner reached out to Amazon for comment.