Amazon sued in push to remove hazardous products

Amazon sued in push to remove hazardous products

A U.S. safety regulator is suing Amazon in an effort to force the company to recall hazardous products sold on the tech giant’s website.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) filed an administrative complaint Wednesday seeking the recall of hazardous children’s sleepwear, carbon monoxide detectors and hair dryers. 

An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement it was “unclear” why the complaint was filed by the commission because it seeks action “almost entirely duplicative of those we’ve already taken.”

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The company said it has removed the “vast majority” of the products, notified customers, gave refunds and asked shoppers to get rid of the products themselves.

The spokesperson also said that for the “remaining few products in question,” the commission didn’t provide “enough information for us to take action.”

The CPSC’s complaint, however, argues that Amazon’s “unilateral actions” taken in response to the hazardous products “are insufficient.” 

The commission is asking for Amazon to cease distribution of the products and issue a “CPSC-approved” notice to consumers who purchased the products. 

Additionally, the suit is seeking that Amazon refund the full purchase price to consumers and destroy all the products returned to Amazon by consumers. It also wants Amazon to provide monthly project reports to reflect the number of the products named in the complaint located in Amazon's inventory, returned by consumers and destroyed. 

“Today’s vote to file an administrative complaint against Amazon was a huge step forward for this small agency,” acting CPSC Chairman Robert Adler said in a statement. “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 products cited in the complaint include “numerous” children's sleepwear garments that are in violation of the flammable fabric safety standard and risk burning children, 24,000 faulty carbon monoxide detectors that fail to alarm and nearly 400,000 hair dryers sold without the required immersion protection devices that protect consumer against shock and electrocution, according to the CPSC.