LG solar batteries recalled by ACCC over overheating and fire concerns

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“Dangerous” solar batteries could be lurking in Australian homes, as an urgent recall is issued by authorities.

A proposed compulsory recall notice for LG solar lithium-ion storage batteries has been issued

after they were linked to 13 incidents of fire property damage, including the destruction of a house in Victoria.

Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones indicated the decision was “because it appears to him that LG has not taken satisfactory action to prevent the affected batteries causing injury to any person”.

Even if you don’t have an LG branded solar storage system, households should still check their batteries – as some of the affected batteries are installed in systems sold under other brands or in unbranded systems.

The major update comes after a national safety warning was announced in November last year amid concern the batteries “can overheat and catch on fire at any time, without warning”, following recommendations by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission.

“A proposed recall notice is a formal step towards a compulsory recall, and highlights the serious risk posed by the around 5000 affected LG solar storage batteries that have not yet been located,” ACCC Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe said.

“We are urging everyone that has a solar energy storage system to check whether they have an affected battery and, if they do and it has not been remediated, to switch it off and contact LG immediately.”

The proposed recall notice requires LG Energy Solution Ltd and LG Energy Solution Australia Pty Ltd (collectively known as LG), to take further steps towards publicising the recall and the serious safety risks posed by its batteries.

Consumers with LG batteries in their homes have been assured they have a right to receive a refund, replacement or software update at no cost to them. LG has also confirmed it will provide compensation to consumers who face higher energy bills while their system is switched off to remedy the issue.

Meanwhile, Ms Lowe has outlined the ACCC’s course of action moving forward.

“The next step is for any suppliers of the affected LG batteries, including LG, to request the ACCC to hold a conference in relation to the proposed issue of a recall notice if they wish to do so,” Ms Lowe said.

“After any conference, the ACCC must then make a recommendation to the Assistant Treasurer on whether or not the ACCC recommends he should issue a compulsory recall notice.”

A voluntary recall notice is currently in place, which means a supplier has opted or agreed with the ACCC to start recalls after becoming aware its products present a safety risk.

However Mr Jones has proposed to make this recall compulsory on grounds “(the) Minister considers that one or more suppliers has not taken satisfactory action to prevent the goods from causing injury.”

If the proposal moves forward LG may be required to take further steps towards recalling the solar lithium-ion batteries and publicising the “defect or dangerous characteristic”.

In the meantime, Aussies are encouraged to check their systems as the affected batteries may be installed in LG, SolarX, Opal, Redback, Red Earth, Eguana, VARTA or unbranded energy storage systems.