By Noah Rothstein

On July 14, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said it had sued Amazon to force the retailer to recall hundreds of thousands of hazardous products that the e-commerce giant distributed on its platform.

By a 3-1 vote, the CPSC voted to file an administrative complaint saying the Seattle-based e-commerce giant was legally responsible for recalling the products as they posed a serious risk of injury or death to consumers.

The products included 24,000 carbon monoxide detectors that failed to go off, nearly 400,000 hair dryers that lacked required protection against shock and electrocution, and “numerous” children’s sleepwear garments, such as pajamas, nightgowns, and bathrobes, that could catch fire, according to the CPSC.

“We must grapple with how to deal with these massive third-party platforms more efficiently, and how best to protect the American consumers who rely on them,” CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler said.

The regulator added that Amazon took unspecified actions for some of the products, but it was not enough.

Amazon said it was “unclear” why the CPSC rejected its offer to expand its recall program, including for products sold by third parties, or sued to force actions “almost entirely duplicative” of what it had taken. The company said it removed “the vast majority” of the products in question from its store and provided full customer refunds.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), chair of the Consumer Safety Committee, said in a statement that the lawsuit sends a message to Amazon and other online marketplaces.

“Knowingly selling dangerous and defective products that imperil Americans will not be tolerated,” he said.

The agency wants Amazon to take additional steps, such as notifying the public about the potentially hazardous products and requiring the company to recover and destroy the products that were sold at no cost to customers.