Tue, May 03, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Car lighter adapters melt, explode during safety tests

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Consumer Protection Committee yesterday said that 93 percent of car lighter adapters, which draw electricity from car cigarette lighters to power electronic devices, failed the committee’s quality and label inspections.

The committee randomly inspected a total of 15 products, with prices ranging from NT$70 to NT$790, sold at wholesale stores, hypermarkets, autoparts stores and online stores, but only one product, by Fujitsu, passed all the inspections, the committe said.

Senior consumer ombudsman Wang Te-ming (王德明) said that only four products passed the power, limited power source, temperature, fire resistance and anomaly tests, adding that only two products passed the inspection on product labels.

“Four products reached abnormally high temperatures during the tests, which can result in melting or burning,” Wang said. “The tests also found that 11 products contained unqualified fireproof plastic material that failed to meet the national standard.”

“Plastic parts melted and burned a hole in the device,” ombudswoman Chang Ying-mei (張英美) said of one product, adding that a component on the circuit board of another product exploded during one of the tests.

Wang said that the adapters often have splitters or USB ports, allowing many devices to be plugged in at the same time, adding that most companies do not clearly label the total voltage and separate voltage for each port, so consumers risk electrical overload.

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