Amazon sued to force recall on hazardous products

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FILE – The Amazon logo appears in Douai, northern France on April 16, 2020. With many independent bookstore owners facing the most dire financial crisis in their lifetimes, the American Booksellers Association has teamed with an award-winning advertising agency known for “culture hacking” to dramatize the threats of the pandemic and the growing dominance of Amazon.com. On Tuesday, the trade group launched the “Boxed Out” campaign, for which a handful of bookstores around the country will have windows boarded up and boxes piled up out front that resemble Amazon delivery containers. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amazon, the world’s largest retailer, is being forced to recall potentially hazardous products sold on its site.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) filed an administrative complaint on Wednesday against Amazon.com, forcing Amazon to accept responsibility for recalling potentially hazardous products sold on its site.

“Today’s vote to file an administrative complaint against Amazon was a huge step forward for this small agency,” says Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “But it’s a huge step across a vast desert—we must grapple with how to deal with these massive third-party platforms more efficiently, and how best to protect the American consumers who rely on them.”

The complaint charges that specific products are defective and pose a risk of serious injury or death to consumers and that Amazon is legally responsible to recall them.

CPSC officials say the named products include 24,000 faulty carbon monoxide detectors that fail to alarm, numerous children’s sleepwear garments that are in violation of the flammable fabric safety standard risking burn injuries to children, and nearly 400,000 hairdryers sold without the required immersion protection devices that protect consumers against shock and electrocution.

The complaint, which was reportedly approved by the commission, seeks to force Amazon, as a distributor of the products, to stop selling these products, work with CPSC staff on a recall of the products and to directly notify consumers who purchased them about the recall and offer them a full refund.

CPSC notes that although Amazon has taken certain actions with respect to some of the named products, the complaint charges that those actions are insufficient.

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