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Amazon, liability and third-party products

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2021 | Products Liability |

Ohio residents who order from Amazon may appreciate the convenience of ordering from home and getting quick delivery, and they have access to more products than ever before. This is a blessing, but it’s also been a problem in some cases. For years, Amazon has disclaimed responsibility for defective and dangerous products sold on its platform. Now, that’s finally starting to change.

Why Amazon is changing its policy

Over the past few years, Amazon has started to sell more products from producers in countries where safety standards aren’t as stringent as those in the U.S. People have even been injured by some of these products. In some cases, victims can’t pursue the seller for damages because they can’t find correct contact information.

Amazon hasn’t taken responsibility for defective products, either. The company’s standard line has been that it’s just the marketplace, not the manufacturer. Product liability, to Amazon, was just not the company’s problem. In the summer of 2021, however, the U.S. government sued Amazon for carrying defective products such as carbon monoxide detectors.

How Amazon is changing

Now, Amazon is adding a guarantee of up to $1,000 in protection for customers. That amount will be applied to products that are defective or cause injury. The hope is that the new policy will change the public’s relationship with Amazon for the better. However, it remains to be seen whether the $1,000 guarantee is enough to cover damages from serious injuries.

As retail continues to evolve, regulatory agencies and private companies will continue to adapt. E-commerce has changed the way people shop. Some existing consumer protection laws need to be revised or reinterpreted in the wake of that shift.