Following no fewer than 53 reports of power banks overheating and at least one case of chemical burns, Amazon has been forced to issue a recall on at least 6 different AmazonBasics-branded portable chargers. Unfortunately, this recall – listed as recall number 18-728 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission – includes quite a large swatch of Amazon's products in the category. Worse, the timeframe for these items includes those sold between December 2014 and July 2017 at costs between $9 and $40. This includes those that were sold both with or without a carrying pouch and micro USB cable. Thankfully, Amazon has made returning the items for a refund easy enough to accomplish and anybody who needs to return one can hit the button below to fill out a simple form to get started.
Specifically, the recall is for portable battery banks that feature the AmazonBasics logo on the front and have one of six product numbers on the back. Anybody who owns a battery bank from AmazonBasics rated at 2,000mAh, 3,000mAh, 5,600mAh, 10,000mAh, or 16,100 mAh is advised to check their model's product number immediately – whether it was purchased online or in one of Amazon's physical locations. Product numbers affected include B00LRK8EVO, B00LRK8HJ8, B00LRK8I7O, B00LRK8IV0, B00LRK8JDC, or B00ZQ4JQAA. It isn't immediately clear what is causing the issue with these battery banks to overheat or catch fire. It could be something technical, perhaps owing to the manufacturing process. Conversely, it could be the result of weaknesses in the build or some other factor that has resulted in a battery pack that is too easy to damage or unstable. Amazon will undoubtedly investigate the matter since these types of fires are exceptionally dangerous and can have a profoundly negative impact on a business's standing even when that impact is short-lived.
While only one of the reported incidences resulted in bodily harm to a user, at least four resulted in property damage from smoke and fire. It's possible, given the high number of device Amazon probably sold in the three-year span, that this is a relatively isolated incident. However, it's probably better to be safe than sorry with consideration for how hot these types of battery-based chemical fires can burn and the amount of damage they can potentially cause.