Trading Standards officers are trying to track down the importer of a generic mobile phone charger that they fear could electrocute users.
The officers from Buckinghamshire County Council have found the charging unit on sale as a mobile phone charger fitted with a micro USB cable.
The team have issued a product recall notice for the charger, product number DE 62347066 (pictured), as they fear that it could overheat and electrocute those who use it.
Chris Holden, senior Trading Standards officer at Buckinghamshire County Council, said that ‘hundreds’ had been seized so far, but there could be ‘hundreds of thousands’ on sale in the UK.
The seized charging units have been sent to a Trading Standards testing facility to establish what handsets they are compatible with and which element of the devices are faulty.
Holden explained that the problem came to light when a firm which was importing the charger for use with gaming devices, such as the Nintendo DS and DS Lite machines, raised the alarm.
The generic chargers, which were imported from China, have mainly been sold online, but the Trading Standards team said that they have also been found on sale in independent mobile dealers in the county.
The chargers are being sold online for 99p plus postage and packaging costs. On the high street they have been sold for up to £10.
Holden added: ‘The deeper we delve, the more we find. The point is that these chargers are dangerous. What’s saving people is the trip switches in their houses that activates when the charger fails.
‘The problem is the circuitry in the body of the charger, and the pins are too close together. If it is forced into a plug socket, it can cause overheating.’