LG Chem home batteries recalled in US over fire safety concerns

LG Chem’s popular home battery the RESU 10H has become the latest subject of a voluntary product recall, after a handful of reports of “thermal events” in the US raised broader concerns around fire safety.

The South Korea-based company’s North American division issued the recall on November 29, for battery systems containing cells from specific lots produced in 2017 and 2018, according to a notice seen by Bloomberg.

“LG Chem has received five reports of thermal events in the United States causing limited property damage,” said the head of LG Chem’s North American energy storage business, Peter Gibson.

“There have been no reported injuries. LG Chem is undertaking this voluntary action as part of its continued commitment to product safety and to providing the highest quality and service to its customers.”

Customers with an affected unit will get a free replacement containing “state-of-the-art” cells manufactured in 2020, LG Chem said in the recall notice.

Whether or not the recall will affect other national markets is unclear – One Step Off The Grid contacted LG Chem to ask whether the notice would be extended to Australia, but did not hear back in time for publication.

The RESU line of batteries have been relatively popular in Australia, and the RESU 10H was named last week as one of the batteries on offer in AGL Energy’s “all-in-one” solar and battery bundle – a push by the gen-tailer to grow its virtual power plant.

Concerns around the risk of fires being caused by batteries in Australian homes have led to some of the world’s most restrictive residential installation standards in the world, despite major global energy storage companies like sonnen claiming to have had no such problems in their European markets, where large numbers of batteries have been installed inside homes without incident.

Earlier this year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issued a product recall notice for the UltraFlex home batteries of Sydney-based company Ecoult, citing risk of fire and electrocution.

Ecoult’s UltraFlex is a 48-volt, 20kW battery that uses lead-acid technology that can be integrated with other electrical equipment and energy sources such as rooftop solar to create an energy storage system. The products being recalled include the 48-4, 48-3 and 48-2.

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