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Feds sue Amazon to force recall of hazardous products

July 16, 2021, 3:32 PM UTC

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has Amazon in its sights.

The regulatory agency is suing the retail giant in an effort to force it to recall a variety of potentially hazardous products, including children’s sleepwear that fails to meet flammability requirements, nearly 25,000 faulty carbon monoxide detectors, and almost 400,000 hair dryers.

“Today’s vote to file an administrative complaint against Amazon was a huge step forward for this small agency,” said acting chairman Robert Adler 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.”

An Amazon spokesperson said that the issues were dealt with before the complaint was filed and that the company was baffled by the filing.

“For the vast majority of the products in question, Amazon already immediately removed the products from our store, notified customers about potential safety concerns, advised customers to destroy the products, and provided customers with full refunds,” Amazon said in a statement to Fortune. “For the remaining few products in question, the CPSC did not provide Amazon with enough information for us to take action, and despite our requests, CPSC has remained unresponsive.” 

The company said that it has offered to expand its recall capabilities to handle issues with all products, regardless of whether those were sold or fulfilled by Amazon or third-party sellers, but the CPSC has not been receptive. 

“We are unclear as to why the CPSC has rejected that offer or why they have filed a complaint seeking to force us to take actions almost entirely duplicative of those we’ve already taken,” Amazon said.

None of the products mentioned in the administrative complaint, whether clothing or electronics, are made by household names. The complete list is extensive and can be viewed in the filing.  

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