Counterfeit and Potentially Dangerous Kids Products Are Allegedly Being Sold on Amazon, Report Finds
CNN reports that its investigation found counterfeit Doona strollers and car seats being sold on the online store
A months-long investigation by CNN in December allegedly found counterfeit products being sold on Amazon that could put buyers, and their children, at risk.
The outlet found fake versions of car seats and strollers being sold up to $200 cheaper than the authentic product on the popular online store. When seeing how well one of the counterfeit car seats held up in a 30 mile-per-hour crash test, it shattered into pieces and failed “to meet the basic standards set by US regulators,” CNN reported.
When placed in the same test, the real car seat — made by the popular brand, Doona — met the requirements.
A certified child passenger safety instructor who reviewed the results of the tests said the failure of the counterfeit products presented “grave danger” to children who were secured in them.
“Safety is a top priority at Amazon. We require all products offered in our store to comply with applicable laws and regulations and have developed industry-leading tools to prevent unsafe or non-compliant products from being listed in our stores,” a company spokesperson told PEOPLE in a statement. “Our first objective is to block suspicious, unsafe, or non-compliant products from being listed in our stores so customers never see them.”
According to CNN, Amazon is not liable when third-party products “infringe on intellectual property or have safety defects,” and the responsibility instead falls on the seller.
Doona told CNN that they flag counterfeit products to Amazon when they come across them, but it can take days for a page to be taken down and more fake products could be sold during that time.
“A lot of people on the Amazon platform think that because it’s on Amazon, it is a genuine product. And that’s actually really not the case,” Doona commercial manager Amiad Raviv said.
“We also continuously scan data points related to sellers, products, brands, and offers to detect activity that indicates products offered in our store might be a concern… When a concern arises, we move quickly to protect customers and work directly with sellers, brands, and government agencies,” Amazon added in their statement to PEOPLE. “We work regularly with regulatory agencies and the information we share helps them identify trends, develop regulations, and determine whether actions like a recall are warranted. When a recall is warranted, we promptly message our customers.”
After being notified by CNN of the results of the crash test, the outlet said Amazon emailed customers who bought the car seat and offered a full refund.
In a separate report by the Wall Street Journal in December, the newspaper allegedly found some products with the “Amazon’s Choice” label were mislabeled or violated the company’s own policies. (Buyers might be influenced to purchase an item when they see it has been given an “Amazon’s Choice” badge.)
Some of these items included steroids and marijuana products, according to CNBC.
“When deciding to badge a product as Amazon’s Choice, we proactively incorporate a number of factors that are designed to protect customers from those policy violations,” a spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.
“When we identify a product that may not meet our high bar for products we highlight for customers, we remove the badge,” they added.
Another investigation by the Wall Street Journal in August of last year allegedly found 4,152 items for sale on Amazon that have been deemed unsafe by federal agencies. Some were deceptively labeled or banned by federal regulators.