Reviewers of AmazonBasics gear complain of dangerous items

A CNN investigation into the AmazonBasics lineup of inexpensive yet seemingly good-enough electronics gear found dozens of products that melted, exploded or started fires: "Dozens of AmazonBasics product are flagged as dangerous, but many are still being sold."

consumers have raised serious safety concerns about AmazonBasics items in complaints to government regulators and in reviews posted on Amazon's own website. 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, according to an analysis of AmazonBasics electronics and appliances listed on its website. … Amazon shoppers have recounted frightening malfunctions and close calls in vivid detail: A surge protector turned into a "blowtorch," one father recalled — saying that flames shot out of the device, which was near his baby's nursery. Phone chargers were said to have burned peoples' hands and legs, and exploding batteries allegedly sprayed chemicals in someone's face. A USB cord burst into flames in a parked car while a toddler was inside, according to one parent. A charger in another car was reported as starting an electrical fire on the freeway, allegedly burning the driver and a jacket. Paper shredders turned on by themselves, according to multiple consumers, and one reportedly blew up in a "fireball," burning someone's arm and singeing the hair off.

"Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one."