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Can Amazon Be Held Liable for Selling Defective Products?

Posted on March 20, 2024 in Products Liability

Amazon is the largest e-commerce retailer in the world, with about $1.4 billion in consumer sales each day. Amazon offers billions of products on its website, most of which are from third-party sellers or merchants. If an item purchased from Amazon, including from a third party, contains a defect that causes a consumer injury, the victim may be able to hold Amazon responsible.

Amazon Liability for Third-Party Vendors 

Third-party sellers who wish to use as a platform to reach consumers must abide by the terms of the Amazon Services Business Solutions Agreement (BSA). This agreement states that all third-party vendors are responsible for any product defects and public or private product recalls. 

Third parties who sell on are also responsible for packaging the product and complying with all applicable safety laws. Finally, vendors must agree to Amazon’s Conditions of Use, which state that Amazon is not liable for products sold by third parties.

Recent Changes to Amazon Liability for Defective Products 

In the past, Amazon firmly denied liability, or legal responsibility, for injuries caused by defective products obtained from third-party sellers through its website. It held that it is not the manufacturer, retailer or distributor of the item, but only the facilitator of the sale between a buyer and seller. Therefore, Amazon argued that it should not be held liable for harm caused by defective products.

However, there has recently been a shift in the issue of Amazon’s liability for defective products. This shift was sparked by lawsuits involving consumers who were seriously injured by items obtained through One example is a 2020 landmark case in California, Bolger v., LLC, where a woman suffered severe burns after a replacement laptop battery she purchased from a third party on Amazon exploded.

In this case, the California Court of Appeals ruled that Amazon could be held liable for injuries caused by the defective product since it played a pivotal role in bringing the product to the consumer, regardless of whether Amazon was a retailer or distributor. Similar results have since arisen out of other defective product cases against Amazon.

Amazon’s New Payment Policy for Injuries as of 2021

In 2021, Amazon implemented a new policy to address complaints about defective and dangerous products obtained from third-party merchants on its site. The new policy states that as part of its A-to-z Guarantee, Amazon will pay customers directly for claims worth less than $1,000 at no cost to sellers.

If a third-party seller is unresponsive or wrongfully rejects a claim, Amazon may also step in to pay claims worth higher amounts. In addition, the company launched its Amazon Insurance Accelerator program to help its sellers purchase insurance at competitive rates from trusted carriers. These programs were active as of September 1, 2021, for products sold through

Contact Us to File a Product Liability Claim Against Amazon

If you purchased a product on that caused an injury or property damage, discuss your legal rights by contacting an Ontario product liability lawyer at Rose, Klein & Marias LLP to arrange a free consultation. We are a powerful team of attorneys who can go up against a major corporation such as Amazon to pursue maximum financial compensation on your behalf. We understand how these cases work and can guide you through each step of the legal process. Call (866) 542-4302.