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    Drivers cautioned about dangerous electric car charging cables sold online: risk of overheating and electrical shock

    Expensive Aftermarket EV Charging Cables Pose Safety Risks to Drivers

    A recent investigation has revealed that purchasing expensive aftermarket electric vehicle (EV) charging cables online can put drivers at risk. The probe found that these cables can overheat and cause electric shocks, highlighting serious safety concerns.

    While all EVs sold today come with a charging cable, those buying second-hand models may not have one included. Additionally, some EV drivers prefer to have a spare cable for convenience. However, it is crucial to be cautious when purchasing these cables, as three devices tested by What Car? failed to meet British and European safety standards.

    The investigation involved buying three “Mode 2” chargers from two online marketplaces. The EVCARS Mode 2 EV Charger priced at £169 and the Oasser Mode 2 Electric Vehicle Charger priced at £130 were purchased from Amazon, while a Portable EV Charger priced at £108 was bought from componentauthority.com. All three devices underwent rigorous testing in an electrical laboratory to assess their conformity with safety standards.

    Shockingly, two of the cables failed all five Residual Current Device (RCD) tests, which are responsible for automatically switching off the electricity in case of a fault. If the RCD system fails to react correctly, it can lead to electric shock hazards for users. Furthermore, none of the plugs securely fit into the socket, increasing the risk of overheating, especially over long periods.

    Additionally, all three cables were designed to work at more than 13 amps, exceeding the plug’s rating. While this may not blow a fuse, it generates excessive heat that can burn someone if the plug gets too hot. Moreover, the cables lacked clear safety labeling and information regarding water resistance, an essential feature for outdoor usage.

    These findings raise significant concerns about the lack of regulations surrounding the sale of these aftermarket charging parts. Unlike high street retailers, online third-party sellers are not legally obligated to ensure product safety, making it easier for sub-standard products to be offered.

    Upon being informed of the investigation, Amazon promptly removed the charging cables from sale for its independent safety assessment. However, retailer componentauthority.com did not take any action.

    Commenting on the investigation, Claire Evans, What Car?’s consumer editor, emphasized the importance of purchasing electrical products from reputable retailers and called for stricter regulations for third-party sellers. Evans stated that these sellers should proactively ensure their products meet safety standards, rather than reacting only after complaints or investigations.

    In conclusion, it is essential for EV drivers to exercise caution and buy charging cables from trusted sources. The potential risks associated with sub-standard aftermarket cables highlight the need for stricter regulations to protect consumers from unsafe products sold online.

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