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Anker issues recall and refund for perilous USB-C cable

It was discovered that Anker had a faulty USB-C cable in its inventory, which could give your phone a much higher voltage than allowed.

Published onAugust 29, 2016

USB Type-C cable

USB Type-C hasn’t had the smoothest start. But then again, it’s an overhauled standard from the many proven years with microUSB. The woes begun as OnePlus jumped in head first last year with the OnePlus 2, to find that its own bundled USB-C cable wasn’t up to snuff with the official specifications. The concern graduated as the standard was more and more adopted by flagship devices. The HTC10 and LG G5 stuffing it with Qualcomm’s newest Quick Charge 3.0 was another incompatibility rough patch. Eventually, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) brought forward a certification program for USB-C cables.

USB Type-C: Not living up to the potential it can B (for now)

Unfortunately, we’re not out of the woods yet. Another mishap was just brought to light by the well-known budget accessory manufacturer, Anker. It was shown by a researcher, Nathan K., that Anker’s USB-C cable model A8185011 can “remember” the voltage of the device it was just plugged into. This is dangerous because if you unplug it from a laptop’s USB-C port and then plug it into your phone, it could push a 15V-20V power draw into a port that shouldn’t see more than 5V. In short, that could fry your phone and/or cause an explosion or fire.

The matter was then reinforced by the Google Engineer who initially brought on the warning about unfit USB-C cables, Benson Leung. On his Google+ page, he reiterated Nathan K’s findings (testing the cable himself) and got Anker to issue a recall:

We are offering all of our PowerLine USB-C A8185011 users a full refund. In addition, we would like to offer a free Anker PowerLine USB-C cable to affected customers once we have improved Anker PowerLine USB-C A8185011.

It’s unfortunate that unsuspecting consumers can still fall victim to inadequate USB-C cables today. We would’ve at least thought that established accessory manufacturers would know how to deal with the standard by now after all of the discrepancy early on. But at least Anker was quick to respond with a full-fledged recall. We’re thankful over the priority that Nathan K. and Benson Leung put on the serious issue. You can check out Nathan’s reveal of the cable’s fault in the video below.

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