AmazonBasics. A report states that Amazon’s private-label equipment and the electronics that carry the branding of Amazon Basics have been found to catch fire, melt, or explode. Launched back in 2009, the private label has more than 5,000 products on the online marketplace. Most of those products are often listed as “Amazon Choice” and are visible above their counterparts from other brands in order to attract consumers. Amazon Basics is not limited to one specific product category and includes products ranging from batteries and cables to bags, safe, and microwave ovens. The brand also sells a list of its products in India – along with the US, UK, and other global markets.
In more than 1,500 reviews on the Amazon site in the United States, many consumers have called AmazonBasics products dangerous, with terms such as “danger” and “fire” revealing CNN’s investigation.
CNN, an American e-commerce company, has stated that “security is a priority” and has taken a number of steps to ensure that all AmazonBasics products are secure and high quality. However, various products under the private label brand are said to have quality and safety issues, including USB cable and microwave oven.
To understand the problem in one case, CNN received a faulty microwave from an Amazon customer and sent it for testing at the Failure Analysis Laboratory at the Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) at the University of Maryland. The experiment found a problem in designing the panel covering the microwave heating device.
In another case, the AmazonBasics Rise Defender was found to have caught fire. It was placed near the client’s 9-month-old son’s nursery. Interestingly, more than 40 customers reported that the product was likely to catch fire before Amazon removed it from the site. A comparable product of a major brand is said to have had six reviews on potential security concerns in the online market, representing 0.07 percent of the more than 8,000 reviews.
The release also highlights an incident where a USB cable with Amazon Basics branding caught fire and melted when used to charge the phone. This issue, believed to be a short circuit, ignited the structure for the office chair.
Three former Amazon employees told CNN that the majority of electronics products are made in China under the Amazon Basics brand. Most of them are also available for purchase in India.
In March 2018, Amazon publicly recalled 260,000 Amazon Basics Ebanks in the United States regarding reports of fires and burns. Similarly, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CBSE) recalled a space heater last year after receiving complaints of overheating, burning, and sparks. However, beyond the two official announcements, the company has not publicly acknowledged the issues with its brand products.
Deactivation and overheating are not uncommon in electronics products. Nevertheless, the number of Amazon Basics products that have detected such issues is alarming.
It is not clear whether customers of Amazon Basics products are facing any issues or fires or burns in India. However, according to estimates, there are several reviews highlighting quality issues with the Amazon Basics-branded USB data cable, one of the brand’s best-selling products in the country.