The Consumer Product Safety Commission can go after a bricks-and-mortar store if it fails to report a defective product or sells a recalled one. The same is true of a company that makes a bad product. An online platform such as Amazon falls under neither of those categories.
Still, Amazon talks about product safety with the CPSC and is a member of the commission’s retailer reporting program, which includes a handful of major retailers that send consumer safety complaints as a kind of early detection system for problematic products.
“The CPSC continues to work with platforms for third-party sellers to ensure safe consumer products and to stop sale of recalled products,” acting chairwoman Ann Marie Buerkle said in a statement to The Post.
Consumer advocates, too, have argued that protecting people from unsafe products is complicated by Amazon’s gray-area role in many purchases.
“Do we need to change the laws of product safety to close a loophole?” said Rachel Weintraub, general counsel for the Consumer Federation of America. “Consumers expect products are going to be safe and shouldn’t be at disadvantage if they’re going online.”