Amazon sells a wide range of cheap, but generally decent products under its AmazonBasics brand. You can find AmazonBasics luggage, Bluetooth speakers, cell phone cases, and computer keyboards, just to name a few categories.

But one product type you probably won’t find on Amazon.com today? An AmazonBasics portable power bank.

Working with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Amazon has issued a recall for 6 different models of AmazonBasics portable batteries after receiving 53 reports of the devices overheating.

There’s been at least one case where a person received chemical burns, and at least four reports of property damage “including fire and smoke damage.”

About 260,000 of the portable chargers were sold between December, 2014 and July 2017 for between $9 and $40, and they were manufactured by Guoguang Electric Company Limited in China and sold by Amazon to customers in the US and Canada.

CNBC reports that about 260,000 power banks were sold.

Amazon and the CPSC are recommending customers stop using the batteries immediately and visit the recall site for instructions on how to return the power banks for a full refund.

Here’s  list of the affected batteries:

  • B00LRK8EVO – 2,000 mAh power bank with micro USB cable
  • B00LRK8HJ8 – 3,000 mAh power bank with micro USB cable
  • B00LRK8I7O – 3,000 mAh power bank
  • B00LRK8I7O – 5,600 mAh power bank
  • B00LRK8JDC – 10,000 mAh power bank
  • B00ZQ4JQAA – 16,100 mAh power bank

via CNBC and The Verge

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14 replies on “Amazon issues recall for 6 different AmazonBasics portable power banks (fire hazard)”

  1. If you can’t trust the Amazon brand battery, which battery can you trust? I bought their cables thinking that they would not sacrifice quality for price.
    I would like to know root cause… the battery charger or the physical batteries. With the Note 7 Samsung blamed the battery inspection process. I found it strange that other phones did not have a similar problem with bad batteries (if inspection can find all the faulty batteries).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung_Galaxy_Note_7#Aftermath

    1. You’re still better off trusting Amazon than one of the dozens of third party sellers on Amazon and ebay who import similar products from China. At least you know there will be some level of quality control, even if they don’t get it right all the time. I certainly don’t recall any other major issues with Amazon branded products like this — their AA batteries, for example.

      As for the Samsung issue, it’s not surprising that they would put the best spin on it they possibly could. Of course, they could have designed the battery installation with greater safety margins which would have required less rigorous testing, but they’re not going to say that, are they?

  2. I don’t get the popularity of these devices. Are there that many people who are not around either a 110 or 12-volt outlet on a regular basis?

    1. Many people I’ve seen keep them in a pocket connected to the phone as a sort of extended battery. Especially those whose phones have old batteries that don’t last very long.

      Aside from that, I like the flexibility of taking the charger to the device and keeping the wall wart somewhere else. Makes it easier to move stuff around rather than being tethered to the wall.

    2. I use them to power my GoPro, cell phone, and GPS trackers while I paraglide and hike in the middle-of-nowhere locations. GoPro alone has a 1.5 hour charge. I need 2-3 days of charge for all my gear.

      1. That’s the type of thing I can see it being useful for–one where you’re not near the types of outlets I mentioned. But I hope not that many people are out in those remote locations. It’s ben quite a while since I’ve been to wilderness areas.

        1. Wait, what? You don’t often go to wilderness areas, and you hope others don’t either? That’s… I don’t get where you’re coming from, so to speak. Why would you hope others don’t go to remote locations? Do you find backpacking somehow sinister?

          Wilderness aside, they’re great for travel in general. I carry one abroad, especially for places where I need an adapter and can only charge one thing at a time. I also used it extensively during a long jury service, as the jury room was limited in outlets.

          1. I think you’re misreading what I wrote or meant. The comparison I was trying to make was to the number of people who buy these types of products—if even a significant percentage of the people with these products were buying them for wilderness use, that would be a lot of people visiting wilderness areas. That would ruin the area–sort of like going to Mt. Rainier where some of the “trails” are paved and 6′ wide.

          2. Right, well I brought up a few other reasons people might use these. And given the size of the US, 260k people isn’t that much. Even small national parks see this many visitors in a year. The Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Yellowstone each see millions of visitors per year. I’m betting even the family caravans who stray not too far from the car could use a battery, given the limited number of 12V ports in a car, and the power drain of uploading Snapchat selfies with every famous landmark you come across.

            Beyond that, there’s a LOT of space in the US, and quite a bit of it doesn’t have a convenient power source.

            But to the point, why do you not want people to enjoy wilderness areas, especially if you’re not? There are plenty of responsible hikers out there who go beyond the power-socketed paved trails and still “leave no trace”. I say more power to them, in this case, literally.

          3. None of the places you mentioned are wilderness areas. I’m talking about places where there are very few people. Places you can camp over a weekend and only see maybe one or two other people the entire time. Places like that can literally be loved to death. My hope is that they are not being over-used, not that they are not being used at all.

          4. Okay, well that is an entirely separate issue. I don’t think anyone’s implying that all 260k of these devices are being used in the “true” wilderness, then. I’ve given multiple other use cases for them.

            Further, have you not been to these parks? I haven’t been too far off the beaten path at the Grand Canyon, but I’ve been to places far removed from other people in Yosemite and Yellowstone. Backcountry campgrounds, trails that go 10+ miles from the road, places where you might want to have an emergency charge for your phone or GPS. I think there are problems with certain areas, but anywhere with a high enough barrier to entry will keep out the destructive masses who would probably be happier in a mall or Disneyland anyway.

        2. I have one of these and am really grateful it didn’t blow up on me while in flight. I bought the Amazon brand because I thought it would be the safest compared to no-name brands flooding the markets.. I guess I was wrong. Whelp! at least there is a recall notice, so I know not to use it.

    3. If you play Ingress, Pokemon GO, or any similar mobile games that use battery-draining GPS, they are a must.

    4. I use mine for emergencies while travelling or for those occasional long days. Say my bike tyre has a flat and I’m miles from anywhere, I know either my phone has power or the battery pack does to get the phone charged for a call. The last time I used it though was a conference. Not a mains plug in sight yet I needed to keep in contact with work, keep tweeting etc. all through the day. My phone battery didn’t hold up (and it’s normally good for 2-3 days on a charge so it’s not a weak battery) so I used a battery pack.

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