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Is Amazon liable for defective third-party products?

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2021 | Uncategorized |

Residents of Nederland and nearby areas of Texas may want to learn more about the lawsuit against Amazon by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Items had sales through Amazon fulfillment, and the commission is seeking to determine if Amazon is legally responsible for defective third-party products. Amazon says they are not liable and does not want the products removed to have an association with a “recall.”

According to South China Morning Post Amazon sold kids’ sleepwear that did not meet federal standards for flammability. Some of the other defective products were the following:

  • 24,000 carbon monoxide detectors that failed to activate in the presence of the gas
  • 400,000 hair dryers that had a risk of shock and electrocution

Amazon stores and distributes products

Sold by Amazon Fulfillment, Amazon stores and warehouses these defective products on behalf of its of third-party sellers, of which the company has millions. Amazon removed these product listings and notified customers. They did not want the labeling of a recall. However, the CPSC thinks the giant Seattle-based company is responsible.

Considers itself an “auctioneer”

The company says it is not liable for defective products that cause harm. It says it simply provides a service, similar to what an auctioneer would do.

It has faced other lawsuits

Although it considers itself an auctioneer, Amazon claims it is concerned for the safety of its customers. The company takes prompt action. It took down listings, returned money and told customers to destroy the products. They say the CPSC is requiring them to take actions that they already took.

Amazon will work with the CPSC

The CPSC complaint sees Amazon as a distributor of consumer products under the Consumer Product Safety Act. It must therefore work with the agency to limit the risk to consumers through defective products.