Amazon Basics products being investigated by safety regulators

PhotoCal

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
392
I know a lot of people try to save a few bucks by using Amazon Basics products.

There is media attention today about the safety of some products.
CNN reports items are being investigated by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
The products include battery chargers, surge protectors, phone charging cords and other electronics.

CNN reports some items were removed from the Amazon website but consumers were not notified.

Stories like these are one reason I use OEM batteries exclusively.
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2014
Messages
4,290
Location
Honolulu, HI
Real Name
Walter
CNN has some articles on this. A seemingly innocuous AmazonBasics USB charging cable shorted and ignited, setting a desk chair on fire and burning the victim when he was trying to get the burning chair out of the house. Take nothing for granted and have an extinguisher handy.

Regarding fakes and fake reviews on Amazon, one should avoid anything that is priced too low and makes exaggerated claims. For example, I have bought Apple products (mostly cables or adapters) on Amazon and examined them carefully when received. Their prices were still higher than the knock-offs and copycats, and they were genuine, AFAICT. Caveat emptor.
 

Darmok N Jalad

Temba, his aperture wide
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
2,012
Location
Tanagra (not really)
Honestly, cheap chargers and cable aren't limited to Amazon-branded products, probably because it's the same manufacturer just selling the same item with different brand names on them.There are tons of such products out there, and even if they don't pose a safety risk (though some probably do), they fail early and end up as a mountain of waste. The consumer saves nothing, since they have to buy the same product more often. OEM chargers and cables just seem to last much better, despite the cost.
 

Bushboy

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
1,807
I had one of those 12v veichle jump starter booster things that was also a USB powerbank thingy. Left it charging off a cig outlet in my van. Came back 30 mins later and it was all melted and van full of smoke. Nearly lost my van. It was a freebie from my friend who worked at electrical wholesale, not Amazon. Bad things can happen.
 

PakkyT

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
4,614
Location
Massachusetts, USA
Nearly lost my van.
Was it down by the river?

I had read somewhere that a lot of those Li-ION jump starters would work fine as a power bank for your phone and what not, but once you actually used it to jump start an automobile it was not basically junk. So fits nicely in the glovebox but you only get to use them once as a jumper starter.
 

Bushboy

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
1,807
No man, about 5km from the river. At a large board manufacturing plant.
One of the work vehicles was always needing the jump start. I used it at least ten or more times to start a small 1500cc cleaners car. But I only had it about 6 months before it shorted out and melted. Super lucky the thing was in a plywood console I had made up. It was the handiest thing though.
 

Bushboy

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
1,807
After that experience, I can see why li-ion batteries like that aren’t allowed on planes and that. Melted an aluminium casing like it was a chocolate bar..
 

PeeBee

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
2,047
Location
UK
OEM chargers and cables just seem to last much better, despite the cost.
I have to disagree where Apple lightning cables are concerned. My family have had loads of OEM lightning cables fail whereas high quality third party cables are much more durable.
 

Darmok N Jalad

Temba, his aperture wide
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
2,012
Location
Tanagra (not really)
I have to disagree where Apple lightning cables are concerned. My family have had loads of OEM lightning cables fail whereas high quality third party cables are much more durable.
The Apple cables in our home rarely fail, despite quite a bit of abuse from the family (leaving them crimped at the base of the device, for example). Any third-party cables I've purchased are all dead and gone, even the thicker ones advertised to be super-durable. The worst was when I bought a third-party wall charger, and it broke inside of a month. We have quite a few Apple chargers in the house and all of those have worked great for years. I also have an old Nokia micro-USB charger that has been around for probably 10 years now. Great for charging the random odds and ends, like game controllers.
 

PeeBee

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
2,047
Location
UK
The Apple cables in our home rarely fail, despite quite a bit of abuse from the family (leaving them crimped at the base of the device, for example). Any third-party cables I've purchased are all dead and gone, even the thicker ones advertised to be super-durable. The worst was when I bought a third-party wall charger, and it broke inside of a month. We have quite a few Apple chargers in the house and all of those have worked great for years. I also have an old Nokia micro-USB charger that has been around for probably 10 years now. Great for charging the random odds and ends, like game controllers.

You've been lucky

https://www.cnet.com/news/stop-buying-apples-flimsy-lightning-cables-try-these-instead/
 

RAH

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Dec 1, 2013
Messages
2,001
Location
New Hampshire
Real Name
Rich
I had read somewhere that a lot of those Li-ION jump starters would work fine as a power bank for your phone and what not, but once you actually used it to jump start an automobile it was not basically junk. So fits nicely in the glovebox but you only get to use them once as a jumper starter.
I have one of these jump-starter/powerbank devices. I've only used it once to jump-start my car (after being idle for a long time during the pandemic), and several times as a powerbank. I'm not sure if you could jump the car a 2nd time without charging the device again first. Anyway, it worked fine, although these stories have me worried. I think I wouldn't leave it in a car for long periods (weeks), based on these stories, although I guess you could get fried anyway. :eek-31:
 

PhotoCal

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
392
Given the proliferation of fakes and knock-offs how can you (or anyone) say for certain?

- K

That's a good point. I don't think I've ever bought any electronic device from Amazon. Nor food (human or animal).

Camera batteries are all OEM, bought from the manufacturer or Adorama.

I'm picky about what I put in my electronic gear and my body (and my pets).
 

doady

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
618
Location
Canada
I've used third-party BLM-1 and BLM-5 batteries before, no problem. But they weren't super-cheap, no-name batteries either.
 

ac12

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
3,600
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
Crum, more stuff to watch out for.
I thought Amazon would do some QC for stuff with their name on it.

The problem today is sooo many things are the same item, but with different labels and logos on it, that you don't know who made it.
Even if you do know who made it, were they made to the same specs? Example, Olympus may have paid for more QC on their stuff. Whereas the stuff going out other door, may have had no QC, to save mfg cost and sell at a lower price.

The established brands have more on the line than upstarts who could simply change their name if a product line went bad.
 

John M Flores

Super Moderator
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Messages
3,343
Location
NJ
In this world of thousands of choices with names you've never heard of before, the reputation of a brand is very important. I've used a small number of Amazon Basic products, purchased due to the reputation of the Amazon brand, and they've been fine so far. A bit surprised that Amazon would put themselves in this position but these global supply chains probably add complexity and cost to QA.

Finding the gems among these new brands is challenging but I've grown to trust Anker. I've got a couple of USB charging hubs from them and a car charging unit that's worked great multiple times without issue.

Ironically, of the half dozen or so on- and off-brand GX85 batteries that I have, the one battery that's swollen is the Panasonic one.
 

exakta

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
925
When I biought a new MacBook last spring, I had to deal with the USB-C ports since all the peripherals I owned were good old USB-A.

That started me down the rabbit hole of the myriad super-cheap but questionable Chinese made cabling, hubs, adapters, thumb drives, etc. available at Amazon, in addition to the Amazon Basics stuff. Reading the user reviews was pretty harrowing. Everything from "didn't work" and "won't charge my laptop" to "the box I got contained a block of wood instead of a thumb drive".

Welcome to the new normal.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
1,792
Location
France
I have always had good experience with amazon basics products but I mostly buy non electronic ones.
Most of them are better than more expensive products.

On eletronic products like chargers, I tend to prefer official ones but now there are sometimes difficult to get.
for instance, 2 years ago I bought 250€ ANC sony headphones.
I would have liked to charge it with a sony charger, but there was no charger in the box and only a 10 cm usb-c cable...
Who charges headphones with a 10 cm cable?

I tried to buy a sony charger but there was none available... so I bought anker/aukey/whatever charger/cables that I don't trust at 100%...
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Messages
140
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Hope it's ok to link this site, but when it comes to USB chargers and batteries, this is my go to page for determining what's good and what's not. This guy knows his stuff. Name brand chargers are generally good, but there are cheaper alternatives that are also well made.

There's also a page where a bunch of USB-C type cables were tested as well, but I can't find the link. I think the guy's name is Bensen Leung. For the record, the AmazonBasics USB-C cable is actually made to the correct standards, whereas most aren't.
 

Latest threads

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom