Electric vehicle (EV) owners are being warned about the danger of buying potentially hazardous charging cables from third-party vendors online. 


It comes following a broader investigation by Electrical Safety First (ESF), which conducted tests on three third-party EV charging cables that were purchased on the internet. 


Independent laboratory tests indicated that all three cables had the potential to cause electric shocks or overheating, posing a significant safety risk. As a result, all three cables were recalled. 


One of the cables was bought from eBay, and was found to pose a risk of electric shock and overheating. The other two cables were from Amazon Marketplace, which also failed electric shock tests. 


Lesley Rudd, the CEO of ESF, said: "Charging your car should never put you at risk and the devices we found for sale via online marketplaces risk turning the everyday task of charging up into a potential hazard. The three cables we tested failed to meet safety requirements and left buyers at risk of electric shock and posed a risk of overheating.


"If you’re looking for a charging cable for your electric car, stick to reputable retailers you know and trust to avoid being duped by a dodgy version that is potentially dangerous. If in any doubt, speak directly to the car manufacturer.”

"Until the Government introduces laws to force online marketplaces to take reasonable steps to ensure goods sold via their platforms are safe, EV owners and shoppers of all types of electrical goods remain at risk.” 


Following the investigation, an eBay spokesperson said: "We have removed the items that Electrical Safety First flagged to us, and alerted buyers who purchased one of the items within the last 90 days.


“We use block filter algorithms which aim to prevent unsafe products from being listed.These filters blocked 4.8million listings in 2022. If an unsafe product does make it on to site, we swiftly remove it and provide product safety education to the sellers to prevent relisting.


“We also work closely with stakeholders and regulators to keep our platform safe. Our Regulatory Portal enables authorities from around the world to report listings of unsafe products, such as those flagged by ESF, for swift removal.”


A spokesperson from Amazon Marketplace added: “Safety is a top priority at Amazon and we require all products in our store to comply with applicable laws and regulations. We have removed these products while we investigate.


“If customers have concerns about an item they’ve purchased, we encourage them to contact us directly so we can investigate and take appropriate action."


The ESF have previously warned against buying dangerous e-bike chargers online, having identified up to 60 listings across four online sites in another investigation. 

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