CPSC Sues Amazon To Force It To Recall Dangerous Products

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has filed a lawsuit against online retail giant Amazon.com (AMZN) to force the retailer to accept responsibility for recalling potentially hazardous products sold on its platform.

“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 claims that the specific products are defective and pose a risk of serious injury or death to consumers and that Amazon is legally responsible to recall them.

Among the products cited in the suit include 24,000 faulty carbon monoxide detectors that fail to alarm, numerous children’s sleepwear garments that could potentially catch fire and nearly 400,000 hair dryers without the required immersion protection devices that protect consumers against shock and electrocution.

The products cited are not sold directly by Amazon, but are sold by third parties who use Amazon’s platform.

The Commission voted 3-1 to approve the complaint, which 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 has asked consumers to visit SaferProducts.gov to check for recalls prior to purchasing products and to report any incidents or injuries to the CPSC.

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