For the first time ever, the three product safety agencies of North America have come to a consensus on improving the safety of USB (universal serial bus) and AC (alternating current) chargers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has joined with the Consumer Protection Federal Agency (PROFECO) of Mexico, as well as Health Canada.
In addition, the three agencies are also embarking upon what is being called the “Early Consultation Initiative”, or ECI. One of the ECI’s primary goals is to “foster a closer alignment of consumer product safety requirements”.
Both USB and AC chargers are devices that plug into wall outlets and provide electricity to rechargeable batteries, like the ones that are in cellphones. They can be used to charge plenty of other things and devices, too.
In a joint, tri-lateral letter the CPSC, PROFECO, and Health Canada urged some of the most major safety companies (e.g. Underwriter’s Laboratories, a global and independent safety science company) to create new manufacturing standards for USB and AC chargers. The coalition is also asking that products be reassessed for general safety because of fire and burn hazards.
Here are just a few examples of injuries and damages associated with unsafely manufactured (or defective) USB and AC chargers:
The three agencies also note that when AC and USB chargers fail to undergo rigorous third party safety testing, that consumer injuries and property damages are much more likely to occur.
If the three major consumer safety agencies of North America stay on track with creating more streamlined safety regulations and continue to advocate for increased USB and AC charger safety, consumers will undoubtedly benefit.
If you have a legal question or concern about an unsafe or defective product, please contact our Philadelphia products liability attorneys. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.