Amazon is no longer trying to stay completely out of the process when people are injured by faulty products sold on its website by third parties. In a change to the company's return and complaints policy announced Tuesday, Amazon said that people who are injured or have their property damaged by defective third-party products should contact Amazon customer service, which will attempt to connect the customer with the seller, CNN reports. Amazon said it will vet the claims itself, using independent fraud experts and its own fraud detection team, reports CNBC. Under the old policy, customers were told to contact the seller if they had an issue with anything bought in Amazon's vast third-party marketplace.
Amazon said if there is no response from the seller, it will "address the immediate customer concern, bear the cost ourselves, and separately pursue the seller." The company said that under the new policy, which takes effect Sept. 1, it will pay customers up to $1,000 if a claim is deemed valid but the seller refuses to pay. Amazon has defended itself against numerous lawsuits from people injured by faulty third-party products like exploding hoverboards by arguing that it is a marketplace, not a seller, and is not liable for damages. The Consumer Product Safety Commission filed a lawsuit against Amazon last month, saying the company has to "accept responsibility" for hazardous products sold on its website. (Read more Amazon.com stories.)