The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has called on owners of a range of potentially “dangerous” home battery systems, recalled by LG Energy Solution more than a year ago, to “urgently check” if their systems need to be replaced.
A total of 7,200 LG Chem RESU batteries – which are also under the brand names SolaX Power or Opal system batteries – were originally recalled by LG in Australia in February of 2021, due to the risk of them overheating and catching fire.
But the ACCC says that, to date, about 6,400 of the recalled batteries have not yet been replaced, and it is concerned that this might be because consumers are unaware of the recall – and of the fire risk.
“These batteries have already caused injury and fire damage to properties and could lead to serious injuries or death,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said in a statement issued last week.
“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.
“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.”
The ACCC says the batteries – you can check on the affected serial numbers here or the models in the table below – were supplied by retailers, installers and distributors including AGL Energy, Baywa, CSR, Energy Australia, Krannich Solar, MMEM, One Stop Warehouse, Rheem, Solar Juice, SolaX, Sonepar (as Solar Plus Solutions) and Supply Partners.
The 2021 Australian recall followed a November 2020 US recall issued by the South Korea-based company’s North American division, following reports of thermal events causing “limited property damage,” but no reported injuries.
At that stage in Australia, there had been no incidents recorded in Australia connected with the batteries, with LG issuing a recall “out of an abundance of caution.”
Matters have now become more urgent, according to the ACCC, which notes that there is now a total of nine reported incidents involving the batteries in Australia, all resulting in property damage and, in one case, injury.
The ongoing recall – and potential for further incidents of property damage, or worse – remains a thorn in the side of LG Energy Solution, which has gone through a major rebranding and unveiled the third take on its lithium-ion RESU Home batteries using a different chemistry and design.
LG Energy Solution’s general manager of residential ESS, Phillip Crotty, said at the time the recall was first issued that the company’s RESU10H line was a fresh take on the battery that “basically bears no resemblance at all to the previous model.”
LG Chem was last year also embroiled in a massive global Hyundai electric vehicle recall, after more than a dozen reported fires related to the Hyundai Kona’s battery pack – battery packs that used LG Chem cells.