Published: August 2020

Online marketplaces should do more to protect customers from harmful products

Consumer Action urged California lawmakers to support AB 3262, which helps protect consumers by ensuring that online marketplaces are held strictly liable for defective products to the same extent as brick-and-mortar retailers, incentivizing them to vet sellers and to remove harmful products from their sites. This important legislation is particularly timely, as shoppers are increasingly turning to online marketplace platforms in light of COVID-19. With uncertainty in the courts, clear legislative action is needed to incentivize online marketplaces to protect these consumers and verify the safety of products to the same extent as brick-and-mortar stores do.

https://advocacy.consumerreports.org/Consumer Action joined consumer advocates in California in supporting AB 3262. This bill helps protect consumers by ensuring that online marketplaces are held strictly liable for defective products to the same extent as brick-and-mortar retailers, incentivizing them to vet sellers and to remove harmful products from their sites. Currently, platforms like Amazon do not have the same product safety responsibilities as retailers like Target or Walmart that sell products at brick-and-mortar stores. If a retailer sells a defective product that causes injury to a consumer, under well-established case law, that retailer is held strictly liable for the damages. But despite the fact that sites like Amazon sell, or benefit from the sale, of products on their platforms, Amazon has argued that they are not retailers, and therefore not liable for defective products sold on their site.

Lead Organization

Consumer Reports

Other Organizations

Common Sense Media | Consumer Action | Consumer Reports | Consumer Federation of California | Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety | Consumer Watchdog | Media Alliance

More Information

For more information, please visit Consumer Reports.

Download PDF

Online marketplaces should do more to protect customers from harmful products   (AB_3262_Consumer_Groups_Support_Sen._Judiciary_8_.12.20.pdf)

 

Tags/Keywords

 

Search

Quick Menu

Facebook FTwitter T
 

Consumer Help Desk

Advocacy