Households have been urged to check their solar batteries after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warned almost 5,000 properties may still have potentially dangerous LG solar batteries installed.
The warning follows an earlier product recall from LG, which cautioned households of potential fire risks with their LG, SolaX or Opal home energy storage systems.
ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said this list had extended to include some Redback, RedEarth, Eguana and VARTA models.
“This recall has been updated twice to include new models, affected systems and dates of manufacture, so even if your battery was not recalled previously, you must check your battery’s serial number again. We remain very concerned about the fire risks these faulty batteries pose, so please act quickly.”
The consumer watchdog has said it will be contacting a number of impacted households over the coming weeks to ensure they are aware of the faulty batteries.
Ms Rickard said batteries should be checked regardless of whether a household is contacted or not.
“Unfortunately, since October 2019 there have been nine reported incidents involving these types of batteries in Australia resulting in property damage and one injury. We do not want to see any more incidents or injuries.”
If households do find they have an affected battery, they are advised to turn it off immediately and contact the manufacturer for a free replacement or refund.
LG has said it will replace faulty batteries manufactured between March 29, 2017 and September 13, 2018 free of charge. Customers can also opt for a refund and have the battery removed from their property at no additional cost if they choose.
Any households that see a significant impact to electricity bills as a result of not being able to use their solar battery from this recall may also be eligible for financial compensation from LG.
LG has also proposed to install new diagnostic software to identify and shut down dangerous solar batteries, which can then be replaced for free. This is in respect to an additional 10,000 batteries manufactured between January 21, 2016 to March 28, 2017, and between September 14, 2018 to June 30, 2019 that LG told the ACCC may also be at risk of overheating. However, this software is still under review.
About 2,900 affected batteries have been replaced or removed so far, with a further 1,400 batteries switched off or reduced in capacity to minimise the risk of overheating while awaiting replacement.
At least 3,000 batteries however, are still yet to be tracked down as part of this additional recall.
In a statement released in response to the ACCC’s recall update, RedEarth said that it had used a small number of LG batteries in its older energy storage systems but that those batteries were clearly identified as LG batteries, not rebranded as RedEarth batteries.
Chief Commercial Officer Scott Andrews said over the past two years, RedEarth had identified about 60 customers with affected LG batteries. These batteries were disabled until they could be replaced, then replaced at no cost to customers, Mr Andrews said, adding that customers had been compensated for the period in which they went without solar.
Has my solar battery been recalled?
If you have one of the following LG, SolaX, Opal, Redback, RedEarth, Eguana or VARTA solar battery models then you may have an impacted battery installed:
- LG Chem RESU 3.3 (452 x 403 x 20 mm)
- LG Chem RESU 6.5 (452 x 656 x 120 mm)
- LG Chem RESU 10 (452 x 484 x 227 mm)
- LG Chem RESU 13 (452 x 626 x 227 mm)
- LG Chem RESU7H Type-R (744 x 692 x 206 mm)
- LG Chem RESU10H Type-R (744 x 907 x 206 mm)
- LG Chem RESU10H Type-R secondary (744 x 907 x 206 mm)
- LG Chem RESU10H Type-C (744 x 907x 206 mm)
- SolaX PowerStation (1570 x 750 x 340 mm)
- Opal Storage (750 x 1550 x 410 mm approx.)
- Redback SH5000 (518 x 1960 x 360 mm)
- RedEarth Drop Bear (1300 x 2020 x 560 mm)
- Eguana Evolve (528 – 2244 x 782 x 400 mm)
- VARTA Neo Pulse (600 x 690 x 186 mm)
The affected batteries were manufactured between March 29, 2017 and September 13, 2018 and were supplied to consumers in Australia from May 15, 2017.
To check if your battery is part of the recall, you can check for the serial number on your system on the LG website here: https://www.lgessbattery.com/au/main/main.lg
Alternatively, you can contact your solar installer and ask if your system may be affected.
What do I do if I have an affected battery?
If you find you have a battery that has been impacted by this recall then you are advised to switch off the device immediately. To do this safely, it is best to refer to the instructions for the solar battery system.
If you cannot find the instructions then contact your installer or LG Energy Solution for more information.
Once you have safely switched off the device, you’ll need to arrange a replacement or remedy with the manufacturer.
For LG, Redback, RedEarth, Eguana or VARTA products, you can call LG Energy Solution on 1300 677 273 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Customers with Opal or SolaX products will need to contact SolaX Power on 1300 476 529 or via email at email@example.com.