Consumer watchdog issues electric shock warning over Ldnio USB chargers after three fail safety tests

Hong Kong's Consumer Council tested other brands with 13 out of 15 products not up to international standards. — SCMP

Hong Kong's Consumer Council tested other brands with 13 out of 15 products not up to international standards. — SCMP

A USB charging port made by leading Chinese manufacturer Ldnio could be dangerous and Hongkongers should stop using it immediately, the city’s Consumer Council said on May 14.

The watchdog issued its warning for the extension socket after tests discovered multiple faults that in some instances could lead to people getting electric shocks.

Ldnio, China’s top mobile phone charger brand, did not respond to the Consumer Council’s findings. The council also tested 14 other USB products, 12 of which did not meet international safety standards.

The Ldnio model, SK3662, even failed local legal requirements because of multiple flaws that included having no fuse overcurrent protection, while its rated current was only 10A, lower than the statutory requirement of 13A.

“Upon the notification by the council, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) conducted an inspection and notified the public to stop using the product, as well as two other USB extension models of similar design of the same brand,” said Nora Tam Fung-yee, the council’s research and testing committee chairwoman.

On protection against electric shock, the Ldnio model, alongside products from manufacturers aMagic and Marble, failed the electric strength test.

When researchers applied a high voltage of 3,000v across the products, the insulators of all three failed to work properly, and that could pose a risk of electric shock to users during USB charging, the council said.

In addition, there was insufficient insulation distance between the USB circuit/transformer and the USB output socket among the three and four other products. The shortfall could increase the risk of electric shock when users access the output socket.

Raising the safety concerns, Tam said researchers had put the products under extreme conditions during the tests.

“The standard requirement is much higher than [what we come across] in our daily lives, which is true, because we want to estimate the risk,” Tam said.

“This is why we say, although some of them are not fulfilling 100% safety items, but that actually when we use them in daily lives with some care, it’s acceptable.”

Gilly Wong Fung-han, the council’s chief executive, said the three products which failed to pass the electric strength test might be less safe according to the study, calling on consumers to pay attention to them.

The council advised consumers to avoid overloading the circuit and using them in a humid areas, such as in a bathroom, or close to water.

Tam also said users should not charge their phones overnight with the sockets.

In a reply to the council, a spokesman for aMagic said the firm had halted manufacturing the product in question in 2017. It did not totally agree with the council’s test results, and said it could be an exceptional case.

It said it would provide a passed test report issued by an experiment laboratory to the council, adding that it had immediately stopped selling two other products of the same type.

Marble disputed the council’s findings and insisted its product had been approved by a laboratory recognised by the EMSD before it was manufactured. – South China Morning Post

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