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US Cracks Down On 'Fulfilled By Amazon,' Citing Sale of 400K Hazardous Items

Published by Slashdot on Fri, 16 Jul 2021


An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) yesterday filed a complaint against Amazon over the sale of hundreds of thousands of hazardous products, including carbon monoxide detectors that fail to detect carbon monoxide, hair dryers without required protection from shock and electrocution, and flammable sleepwear meant for children. The CPSC said it sued Amazon to "force [the] recall" of the dangerous products. While Amazon has halted sales of most of them already and issued refunds, the CPSC said it isn't satisfied with how Amazon notified customers and said the industry giant must do more to ensure that the faulty products are destroyed. The dangerous products were offered by third parties using the "Fulfilled by Amazon" (FBA) program, in which Amazon stores products in its warehouses, ships them to customers, and takes a sizable cut from the proceeds. The CPSC's administrative complaint alleges that Amazon hasn't taken enough responsibility for dangerous third-party products that it ships via FBA. The complaint didn't mention any specific incidents of injury but said the evidence supporting the charges includes "lawsuits concerning incidents or injuries involving various consumer products identified in the Complaint." It also said that CPSC staff tested the products and found that they don't meet safety requirements. Products that don't meet these requirements pose a substantial risk of injury or death to consumers, the agency said. The CPSC said its complaint "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." In a statement provided to Ars, Amazon said it has already removed the "vast majority" of the products from its online store, notified customers, and provided refunds. Amazon alleged that the CPSC hasn't provided enough information about the remaining products. Amazon's full statement reads: "Customer safety is a top priority and we take prompt action to protect customers when we are aware of a safety concern. As the CPSC's own complaint acknowledges, for the vast majority of the products in question, Amazon already immediately removed the products from our store, notified customers about potential safety concerns, advised customers to destroy the products, and provided customers with full refunds. For the remaining few products in question, the CPSC did not provide Amazon with enough information for us to take action and despite our requests, CPSC has remained unresponsive. Amazon has an industry-leading recalls program and we have further offered to expand our capabilities to handle recalls for all products sold in our store, regardless of whether those products were sold or fulfilled by Amazon or third-party sellers. We are unclear as to why the CPSC has rejected that offer or why they have filed a complaint seeking to force us to take actions almost entirely duplicative of those we've already taken."Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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