E-bike chargers that pose a fire risk have been found on sale on Amazon, eBay and Wish.com, a Guardian investigation with charity Electrical Safety First (ESF) has found.
The websites had more than a dozen low-cost devices, several with substandard, unfused plugs, on offer, according to the Guardian, and all withdrew the chargers identified when approached by the paper.
ESF last year also found “highly dangerous” e-bike chargers for sale on Amazon Marketplace, eBay, Wish.com and AliExpress, and all sites said they had subsequently removed or blocked the relevant listings.
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has frequently issued warnings on e-bike and e-scooter battery fire risks with its Charge Safe campaign, most recently following a faulty e-bike catching fire and exploding at a block of flats in Roehampton.
This came just days after it shared a video of an e-scooter on charge bursting into flames at a property in Brent. The e-scooter had been bought from online marketplace Gumtree.
The Guardian said: “A snapshot investigation this month revealed 15 different chargers being offered on Amazon, eBay and Wish.com by British and Chinese sellers that were likely to breach UK safety regulations. Several have clover-shaped plugs that increase the risk of an electric shock. Technicians opened the plugs bought on Amazon and eBay and found they had no fuse.”
Lesley Rudd, chief executive of ESF, said: “Online marketplaces are failing to get to grips with substandard and dangerous products on their platforms. None of the charging devices we found should have been on sale to the public.”
Amazon has reportedly removed five chargers, all imported from China with clover-shaped plugs, and devices removed from Wish.com included a scooter charger from China that was on sale for £5.36.
An Amazon spokesperson said the company will “remove any similar products with non-compliant clover-shaped plugs that we find listed”, while eBay said it was already “strengthening our processes to tackle this issue”.
A spokesperson for Wish.com said merchants trading on its platform are “required to adhere to local laws and safety standards, wherever their goods are sold… We are informing any impacted customers, and will take any further action as appropriate”.