Six weeks after Apple launched a lawsuit in connection with fake chargers and other “Apple” items being sold online, tests carried out by global independent safety body UL on such devices have shown 99 percent of them to be unsafe.
Commissioned by the U.K.’s Trading Standards organization, UL officials tested 400 fake chargers – sold as made by Apple but found to be fake – and discovered that all but three fell short of basic safety standards, the BBC reported Thursday.
Illinois-based UL found that nearly all of the devices lacked sufficient insulating material to protect against electric shocks. The chargers used in the tests were bought online from eight countries, among them the U.S., China, and Australia.
The chief executive of the U.K.’s Chartered Trading Standards Institute told the BBC that consumers should think seriously about how they buy such items for their smartphones and other gadgets.
“It might cost [a little] more, but counterfeit and second-hand goods are an unknown entity that could cost you your home or even your life, or the life of a loved-one,” Leon Livermore said.
With seemingly so many stories in recent months of faulty batteries causing sudden fires and meltdowns, device owners are being warned to take simple steps to stay safe, including never to cover their gadgets when they’re charging and never to use a charger that’s obviously damaged, such as one with a visibly damaged cable.
Apple’s October lawsuit, which targeted Amazon seller Mobile Star, is an attempt by the tech company to stamp out the trade in fake Apple goods.
To support its claim against Mobile Star, the Cupertino company tested more than 100 “Apple” chargers and other products bought from a number of Amazon sellers, and found 90 percent of the devices to be fake.
Apple noted in its lawsuit that “unlike genuine Apple products, they are not subjected to industry-standard consumer safety testing and are poorly constructed with inferior or missing components, flawed design and inadequate electrical insulation.”