Sometimes the saying “You get what you pay for” is not entirely accurate. Sometimes a product that is made to be friendly for the budget is not only made cheaply, but dangerously. These products carry with them much more than you pay for. They carry a mass of risk and the potential for long-lasting harm to the person as well as individual property.
Recently there have been a rash of hazardous NIMH battery chargers offered through various online sources – including eBay – that are extremely cheap. They are also little more than time bombs in the guise of battery rechargers.
This article is to serve as a public service announcement against these extremely dangerous, low-quality, Chinese-made NiMH battery chargers.
Australian Safety Standards for NiMH Battery Chargers
Whenever electronics are imported, they are supposed to adhere to the safety standards set forth by the country. This is true for any electronic item that is going to be distributed by a retailer, but can be circumvented using direct eCommerce sites like eBay. Since the product is essentially a contract between parties that exists outside of ordinary import and distribution laws, they are treated as common mail, not subject to governmental safety intervention.
This means the only safety guarantee they have is a “Use at Your Own Risk,” which is offered by a company that is also not subject to Australian laws, because they sometimes exist outside of the shores of the country. As such, they cannot be pursued for legal damages in the event of loss of property or life.
Sadly, loss of property and / or life (or at least limb) is exactly what these cheap, Chinese-made NiMH battery chargers may bring as an accessory.