Amazon recalls power banks due to fire, chemical burn hazards

Illustration by Alex Castro  The Verge

Illustration by Alex Castro The Verge

Amazon is recalling six models of its AmazonBasics Portable Power Banks in cooperation with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The affected power bank models include the 16,100mAh, 10,000mAh, 5,600mAh, 3,000mAh, 2,000mAh with Micro USB cable, and 3,000mAh with Micro USB cable.

The chargers, which sold from December 2014 through July 2017 at Amazon.com, Amazon Bookstores and Amazon Pop-Up Stores, retailed for between $9 and $40. Product ID number B00LRK8EVO, B00LRK8HJ8, B00LRK8I7O, B00LRK8IV0, B00LRK8JDC or B00ZQ4JQAA is printed on the back.

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In one case, the user reported suffering chemical burns from the battery acid; in another four, users suffered property damage from smoke and fire.

The rubberized or metallic power banks are black and rectangular. All affected devices have already been removed from sale on Amazon's website. The potentially unsafe models of the AmazonBasics Power Banks can no longer be purchased.

Consumers should unplug the chargers and contact Amazon for a full refund.

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AmazonBasics is not only very lucrative for Amazon, it's become a trusted brand shoppers turn to when they want a reliable accessory. They were manufactured by Guoguang Electric Company Limited, of China. Medium-capacity power banks often use several standard 18650 lithium-ion batteries connected together, and those batteries are made by a handful of large factories.

Amazon is recalling 260,000 AmazonBasics portable chargers after reports that they can overheat and cause fires or burns.

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