Some Nexus 5X, 6P chargers reported to be unsafe, not up to spec

USB Type C, or simply USB-C, is the hot new standard for data and power connections on mobile devices, sometimes even laptops like the Apple MacBook. Although not yet adopted universally, it is becoming more widespread in each new product launch. That means that a bunch of new accessories, including chargers, have popped up almost out of nowhere. Sadly, it also means that not everyone gets the spec right, resulting in sometimes very dangerous consequences, as reported by Redditor Nathan-K.

This isn't the first time we've heard of USB-C accessories gone bad. Google engineer Benson Leung has seemingly made it his life's mission to sift through faulty USB-C cables on the market, especially on Amazon, and call them out. Even if "them" is Chinese startup OnePlus, who previously offered refunds for their USB-C cables and adapters. Nathan-K is doing something similar but limits his investigation, and burnt electronics, to Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P chargers.

To be perfectly clear, the chargers he tests aren't the ones made by Google, but some other Redditors report seeing the same symptoms from chargers bought from Google's own Store. Either way, the gist is that third party chargers for these two smartphones are reported to be not accurately complying with the USB-C spec, or sometimes using very shoddy manufacturing. Not complying with rules might sound like a small offense to some, but not when you're dealing with electricity and electronics. In some instances, the charger courses full power through the cable, regardless of what's attached on the other end, which could end up to be a fire hazard.

On the one hand, it is yet another cautionary tale of ensuring you are using the accessories, especially chargers and cables, that ship with your device. On the other hand, however, this situation practically makes the USB-C standard moot, as it means, once again, that each vendor would lock consumers into using only their own made products instead of being able to trust third party manufacturers that are judiciously complying with standards.