Regulator issues formal recall notice for LG Energy home batteries

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a recall notice for a series of home batteries in LG Energy Solution’s popular RESU range, formalising the formerly “voluntary” Australian recall that followed reports of “thermal events” in the US.

In a notice published late last week, the ACCC said home batteries from LG Energy Solution (formerly LG Chem) including the RESU7H_Type R, RESU10, RESU10H Type-C, RESU10H_Type R, EM048063P3S4 and EM048126P3S7 were being recalled in Australia due to the risk of batteries overheating and catching fire.

“The affected batteries are equipped with cells from specific production lots manufactured between March 2017 and September 2018,” the notice said. “If the batteries overheat, there is an increased risk of fire which may result in an injury or death and/or property damage.”

As One Step Off The Grid reported in December of 2020, the South Korea-based company’s North American division issued a recall for the affected batteries in the US on November 29, according to a notice seen by Bloomberg.

LG Chem said at the time that it had received five reports of thermal events in the US causing “limited property damage,” but no reported injuries, and had undertaken the voluntary recall as part of a commitment to product safety and “highest quality and service” to customers.

Two weeks later, LG Energy Solution confirmed to One Step Off The Grid that a voluntary recall was also in effect in Australia, “out of an abundance of caution, and that it was working with the ACCC and other regulators on a free replacement program.

The home battery recall has delivered a blow to the company, striking at a time when LG Chem had decided to spin off its battery division and re-brand it, and unveil the third take on its lithium-ion RESU Home batteries, which are set to hit the Australian market later this year.

LG Energy Solution’s general manager of residential ESS, Phillip Crotty, has said that the third generation RESU10H is a fresh take on the battery that “basically bears no resemblance at all to the previous model.” The company has since revealed that it has slashed the price of its remaining RESU battery stock in Australia.

Meanwhile, LG Chem is also embroiled in a massive Hyundai electric vehicle recall, after more than a dozen reported fires related to the Hyundai Kona’s battery pack – battery packs that use LG Chem cells. All up, the automaker is recalling 82,000 vehicles, globally, including in Australia.

In terms of the home batteries, the ACCC advises consumers who believe they have, or have installed one of the above-listed ESS Home Battery models to “immediately contact LG Energy Solution Australia’s product department” to arrange an inspection and – if applicable – a replacement, free of charge.

The notice said that LG Energy Solution was also implementing a remote software upgrade for a number of online affected RESU10H Type-R and RESU7H Type-R units to lower the maximum state of charge to 90% for the interim period, prior to replacement – an upgrade only applicable to online units with sufficient online connectivity.

Further information on the recall is available on the LG Energy Solution website: https://www.lgessbattery.com/au . Click on “Battery Recall: Free Replacement Campaign” for more information including guidelines on how to check your battery’s serial number.

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