If you have a Ring Video Doorbell in your possession, make sure you’ve installed it correctly. Ring LLC recently recalled about 350,000 of the products in the U.S. due to potential fire and burn hazards.
Ring Doorbell May Overheat and Catch Fire
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced the recall of second-generation Ring video doorbells. These smart doorbell cameras have a blue ring at the front and come in two colors: satin nickel (black and silver) and Venetian bronze (black and bronze). They were sold with a mounting bracket and a USB charging cable.
The products are manufactured in China and imported by Ring LLC of Santa Monica, California. They were sold at electronics and home goods stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com and Ring.com from June 2020 through October 2020 for about $100. The Ring logo is printed on the bottom front of the doorbell and the model and serial numbers are on a label on the back of the doorbell and the other packaging.
It seems the video doorbell’s battery can overheat when certain screws are used for installation, posing fire and burn hazards. The company has received 85 incident reports of certain doorbell screws installed with 23 of those doorbells igniting, resulting in minor property damage. The company has also received eight reports of minor burns.
Ring advises consumers to check the model number. If yours is “5UM5E5,” your product is affected by this recall. You can also enter the doorbell’s serial number on Ring’s recall site.
If you have a recalled item, Ring suggests you stop installing it and download the revised installation instructions here. If you have already installed it, check to be sure it was installed correctly with the recommended screws. You do not have to return the device. You can also contact Ring at 800-656-1918 from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. PT.
Be Cautious When Purchasing Products from Amazon and Other Online Retailers
Individuals injured by the ring may have legal recourse against the importer, but it’s important to realize that’s not always the case when buying products from foreign companies on Amazon and other similar online marketplaces.
For years, Amazon has managed to avoid liability for products sold on its site that end up injuring consumers. In Amazon lawsuits, the company has maintained that it is simply an online advertising portal and can’t be held responsible for problems caused by third-party vendors and manufacturers. This has left many consumers with nowhere to turn, as pursuing liability claims against foreign companies in China and elsewhere is often not a viable option.
A few recent court decisions may be changing that, however. In August 2020, for instance, the California State Court of Appeals for California’s Fourth District ruled that Amazon was liable for defective third-party products sold on its site, based on Amazon’s distributing the products into the U.S. market. The ruling reversed an earlier decision in Amazon’s favor and potentially opened the door to other liability lawsuits in the future.