True, but it uses a modern switching power supply so your car's electricity can vary from 12V all the way to a whopping 24V, without overvoltaging the charging current by accident. I think it's worth the negligible risk for the convenience -- I have used a Boxwave product and they seem to be well made -- generally got good reviews by reviewers -- they've been in the business long enough for me to trust them. I think.
But you're right, it's generally risky for non-OEM products, have to be careful... And, yes, at 3.0 inches (plus about 0.8" inch long for miniSync USB plug or 2" for the stiff plug of a standard USB cable), it could poke too far out of the socket and into the gearshift area.
Hey rcg, you own the BlackBerryCentral.com domain, right? (sent you a PM).