Australia’s consumer watchdog warns about LG home batteries


From pv magazine Australia

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned that some LG-branded batteries, equipped with cells from specific production lots manufactured between March 2017 and September 2018, could overheat and catch fire.

South Korea’s LG Energy Solution issued a recall in February 2021 for an estimated 7,200 of the affected batteries. They were primarily installed in LG, SolaX or Opal branded home energy storage systems.

LG has said it will replace all affected batteries free of charge, but the ACCC said about 6,400 of the affected batteries have not yet been replaced. It is concerned these consumers may not be aware of the recall and the fire risk. The consumer watchdog has said since October 2019 that the potentially dangerous batteries have been linked to nine fires in Australia and five in the United States, causing property damage and injuries to two people.

“We encourage consumers to urgently check if they have an LG, Solax or Opal solar energy storage battery which is included in the recall by LG,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard. “These batteries have already caused injury and fire damage to properties and could lead to serious injuries or death.”

Rickard said the ACCC has been working with state and territory electricity regulators to raise awareness of the recall. Licensed electrical contractors who have installed or worked on systems with affected batteries are also encouraged to proactively contact these clients about the recall.

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“Consumers who identify they have an LG energy storage battery under recall are urged to immediately contact LG to discuss next steps, including a free replacement when available,” she said. “The affected batteries have also been supplied in solar energy storage systems with brand names other than LG, so it is extremely important to check if you have a battery affected by the recall by checking the serial number on the LG website.”

Western Australian Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe said the owners of the affected batteries should act quickly.

“Product recalls are sometimes met with apathy, but this is not the time to hesitate or delay,” he said. “Immediate action needs to be taken before the fire risk results in damage to your home or potentially an injury or death. I urge owners of LG solar batteries in their home to check the model numbers on their units and treat this issue with the utmost urgency.”

The recalled batteries were available for sale at various times between April 2017 and December 2019. The affected models are RESU3.3, RESU6.5, RESU10, RESU13, RESU7H Type-R, RESU10H Type-C, RESU10H Type-R, RESU10H Type-R (Secondary), S/A Gen2 1P (EM048063P3S4) and S/A Gen2 2P (EM048126P3S7).

Electrical regulators recommend switching off the battery. If consumers wish to switch off the battery, they should refer to the instruction manual of their energy storage system or contact the installer or manufacturer for advice.

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