The charity claims that unsafe electric bike chargers are being sold on popular shopping sites such as Amazon and Ebay.
According to Electrical Safety First (ESF), Wish.com and AliExpress also sold dangerous chargers that could lead to fire and electric shock.
All chargers advertised as accessories to power lithium-ion batteries in electric bikes did not meet the standards required for UK plugs.
Many did not even have chargers to protect consumers, according to the ESF.
“The nature of the batteries that power these dangerous chargers can be disastrous,” said Martin Allen, technical director for Electrical Safety First.
“The process of charging electric bicycle batteries must be done with compatible compatible chargers, it should not have been sold to a buyer.
What are the dangers?
A faulty charger poses a serious risk when charging lithium-ion batteries.
An unregulated power supply can cause a battery to explode and cause a fire, and improper wiring and inadequate shielding can also cause electrical shock.
ESF explained that the plug on the unauthorized charger was smaller than UK standards. This increases the risk of electric shock if someone accidentally touches a live plug.
Also, the wrong plug means it has not been “properly tested” under UK safety law.
The charity found around 60 illegal charger listings across four platforms. Ebay has the most (21), followed by Amazon and Wish.com (both 13) and AliExpress (12).
What did the retailers say?
Each of the four exchanges said it had security procedures in place and blocked all listings flagged by the ESF as part of its investigation.
An Amazon spokesperson said: “Security is important to us at Amazon and we want our customers to shop with confidence in our measures and control the safety of products sold in our stores.
“If a customer has concerns about an item they have purchased, we encourage them to contact customer service directly so we can investigate and take appropriate action.”
Meanwhile, an eBay spokesperson added: In addition to the block filtering algorithms and security teams that monitor the site, we work closely with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure there are no dangerous products on eBay.
“In this case, we worked closely with the ESF and the Kensington and Chelsea Council Trading Standards team to quickly remove these products.”