A third-party charger for Apple gadgets may be a lot cheaper than the ones hanging off shelves at the Apple Store, but a vast majority of those chargers aren’t safe, a new study has concluded.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), a UK association representing trading standards professionals, has tested 400 counterfeit chargers for Apple products, the BBC reported Friday. The result was pitiful: Only three chargers were insulated well enough to protect against electric shocks.Â
Another test targeted second-hand goods in local shops, and found that 15% of 3,019 electrical goods were non-compliant with UK standards. Considering the potential danger, a counterfeit charger could cost you your home or even your life.
Leon Livermore, the CEO of CTSI, warned in a statement on the Trading Standards website against using second-hand and counterfeit electronics goods, which could “cost you your home or even your life.”
A counterfeit charger could cost you your home or even your life.
And Gillian Guy, CEO of UK consumer organization Citizens Advice, which gives people advice and information on a number of issues, including consumer rights, warned consumers to avoid counterfeit goods.Â
“Look out for tell-tale signs of counterfeiting such as mistakes in brand names or logos, and check plugs for safety marks â all genuine electrical items made in the EU should have a CE mark on them,” he said in a statement.Â
It’s unclear, however, how “counterfeit” chargers, which were bought online from eight countries, were defined in the testing. Chargers and other Apple accessories range from extremely cheap, no-name products to quality, branded products that are built by a third-party manufacturer. In other words, there may be a big difference between using a cheap plug from an unknown brand and using a plug meant for a Samsung Galaxy to charge your iPhone.
It’s also unclear whether the chargers tested were for iPhones, MacBooks, other Apple devices or all of the above.
We’ve contacted CTSI to find more about the methodology, but have not yet heard from them.Â
A recent Apple lawsuit targeted a manufacturer of counterfeit Apple chargers, warning that such devices are not built to standards and “pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock.”Â
In the suit, Apple claimed that nearly 90 percent out of the chargers and other Apple accessories it has purchased on Amazon were fake.