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AmazonBasics are Ablaze and Engineers Blame Design or Manufacturing

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(iStock/Julie Clopper)

AmazonBasics was launched in 2009 by Amazon to provide everyday items at a similar or high quality and lower price point when compared to existing name brands. It’s a private label strategy used by many big-box retailers, including Target, and is only getting more popular.

However, consumers are raising serious safety concerns about AmazonBasics items in complaints to government regulators and in reviews posted on Amazon’s website, according to CNN. The article states: “Since 2016, at least 1,500 reviews, covering more than 70 items, have described products exploding, catching on fire, smoking, melting, causing electrical malfunctions or otherwise posing risks.

While user error can be a factor, so too can faulty or old wiring within a home or a defective device being used in conjunction with the product. CNN interviewed electrical engineers who said when products are well-made and used properly by consumers, electronics like the ones under AmazonBasics’ name should “rarely pose dangers.”

Amazon said “safety is a top priority” and it takes a number of steps to ensure all AmazonBasics products are safe and high quality. Those steps include selecting experienced manufacturers, monitoring customer feedback and testing items to ensure they pass safety and compliance standards both before and after they are available.

“In general, one or two reports of problems could be more easily chalked up to user error or other external factors,” multiple electrical engineers told CNN. “But as the number of reports about the same kinds of failures increases about the same item, so does the likelihood that there is a defect in the design or manufacturing.”

In a blog on its website, here’s how Amazon said it’s ensuring the safety of its AmazonBasics products.

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