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Democrats from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce wrote a letter to Bezos on Wednesday, which specifically addressed popular electronics products sold by AmazonBasics that have allegedly created “hazardous situations at rates well above comparable products.”
“Concerns regarding Amazon’s own product line add to mounting questions about Amazon’s priorities and oversight of its sprawling platform,” the letter read. “We call on you to thoroughly investigate this matter, immediately issue recalls of defective products, and take comprehensive corrective action to protect your customers from all dangerous products on your platform, including those from your own private label brands.”
The letter was based on a CNN Investigation, which found that some AmazonBasics products – like chargers and USB cables – have caught fire, melted otherwise posed a potential threat to users.
Lawmakers noted that products sold by Amazon might be favored by consumers over third-party items because they are sold and shipped by the e-commerce giant.
They allege that the company deletes product listings and does not provide easily accessibly information about product recalls, while expressing concern that the CNN report could just be the “tip of the iceberg in terms of safety issues with Amazon’s private label products.”
A spokesperson for Amazon said safety is a top priority for the company.
“Amazon thoroughly investigates any indicators of safety or quality concerns,” the spokesperson said. “The outcome of the investigation varies on a case by case basis and may include removing the product from the store, adjusting the design of the product, notifying customers to stop using the product, or other appropriate action. We want customers to shop with confidence and if ever a customer has a concern, they can contact customer service and we will investigate.”
On Tuesday, House Republicans and Democrats released separate reports criticizing the nation’s largest technology companies – for different reasons.
Democrats went after tech giants over anti-competitive and monopolistic practices, while Republicans focused on bias and content moderation.