'Dangerous' e-bike chargers found on Amazon and eBay

Highly dangerous e-bike chargers have been found on Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, and Wish.com, according to an investigation by Electric Safety First.

The UK safety charity says that the online platforms have been selling mains chargers designed to charge e-bike batteries that could start “devastating fires”.

The organisation said it is particularly concerned by the findings because of the risk associated with substandard charging devices powering lithium-ion batteries.

It warned that, in an event of a fire caused by the charger, its close proximity to the e-bike battery could cause a "ferocious and devastating" fire in the home if the battery is then ignited.

Electric Safety First discovered almost 60 listings across the four marketplaces that fell short of the necessary safety standards for sale to UK consumers.

Many of the charging devices also failed to meet standards for UK plugs, with some having no fuse, it said.

“These chargers we have identified for sale all pose an increased risk of fire and electric shock and should never have been available for sale to UK shoppers in the first instance,” said Martyn Allen, technical director of Electrical Safety First. “Given the frightening nature of lithium-ion battery fires, it is essential the charging equipment doesn’t pose any unnecessary risk to the battery or user.”

Allen added: “The lack of vital regulation needed to ensure online marketplaces are responsible for the safety of goods sold via their platforms is contributing significantly to dangerous products entering people’s homes. The Government must bring forward urgent laws to finally end this scandal.”

Amazon, eBay and AliExpress said they have taken down the products in question, while Wish.com said it is temporarily blocking the product listings from the EU and UK while it carries out its own investigation.

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