I thought it was clever to buy cheap iPod chargers and cables on the internet.  The savings over Apple’s prices can be substantial ($5 or so versus around $30 for a charger, for example), and they are often postage-free.

But, it turns out it is NOT a good idea to leave these things plugged in when nobody is around, and even their use could be dicey.  Recent news, such as this post at Mobile Computer Mag says:

Of course, it’s hardly news that electronics imported on the cheap from the Far East might suffer from shoddy construction but Bucks’ consumer police reckon that the build of this latest batch of grey-market chargers is so poor that there is a risk of the internal soldering coming loose, causing wires to disconnect and this could conceivably result in arcing and possible electric shock.

There’s  information about an SUV fire electrical fire:

This fire resulted from leaving an I-phone charger/docking station plugged into the car outlet.

The link has pictures of the fire, which apparently discovered before major damage occurred.

I’m sure going to rethink leaving chargers plugged in when I’m not around, in both car and home.