A customer told CNN that a house fire started when a USB cable on an office chair melted and ignited the upholstery. Another told the publication that he noticed flames from a surge protector.
Amazon responded to the investigation with a blog post in which it said it was working with third-party laboratories on safety and compliance standards, testing its products to make sure they meet these standards, and monitoring customer reviews. A product that fails its tests has its design removed or adjusted.
You can read reviews online for products that are still for sale. For example, the AmazonBasics voice-activated microwave had a review earlier this week that said, “It triggered popcorn making and melted the insides.” However, CNN notes that the negative reviews for the microwave make up only about 5% of all reviews.
“We take the safety of our products seriously and are confident that the AmazonBasics microwave is safe to use,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement sent via email. “We are taking several steps to ensure the safety of our products, including rigorous testing by our safety teams and third-party laboratories. The device continues to meet or exceed all certification requirements set by the FDA, UL, FCC, Prop 65 and others for safety reasons were and functionality. “
According to CNN, there have been around 1,500 reviews since 2016 describing more than 70 AmazonBasics products as sparking, smoking, melting, burning, exploding and electrically disruptive. According to CNN, around 30 of these items are currently still on sale. Amazon recalled two basics articles in 2018 and 2019 after receiving more than 50 reviews of power bank overheating and 25 reports of overheating, sparking, or burning a space heater.
Aside from these two official recalls, the company has never publicly acknowledged that AmazonBasics products have security issues.
Other AmazonBasics products that were included in CNN’s investigation include a two-slice toaster, portable electric hot water kettle, five-cup coffee maker, outdoor patio heater, car battery jumper cable, multiple surge protectors and batteries, thermal laminator, and several charging cables and accessories. You can see the full list and read the entire investigation on CNN.