ACCC urges customers to check solar batteries for fire risk

The consumer watchdog is urging customers with an LG, SolaX or Opal home energy solar system to check their solar batteries immediately for a potential fire hazard.

There are concerns that some consumers may have missed a product recall from LG last year, after it was revealed 6,400 of the affected batteries were still yet to be replaced, according to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).

LG Energy Solution first recalled the solar batteries on 25 February 2021, due to them being at risk of overheating and catching fire.

Consumers with these home storage units should contact the manufacturer, ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“We encourage consumers to urgently check if they have an LG, Solax or Opal solar energy storage battery which is included in the recall by LG. These batteries have already caused injury and fire damage to properties and could lead to serious injuries or death,” she said.

“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.”

Electricity regulators recommend that these batteries be switched off until a replacement has been made. Consumers looking to turn off their solar battery should refer to their instruction manual or contact their installer or manufacturer for further advice.

LG stated it will replace all affected batteries once replacements become available.

What products have been recalled by LG?

Around 7,200 home solar batteries were recalled by LG in February last year. These products were primarily LG, SolaX or Opal branded home energy storage systems, with the affected batteries manufactured between April 2017 and September 2018.

Some of the installers found to have supplied these batteries include 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 ACCC notes that Solax supplied almost 25 per cent of the affected batteries.

LG said it has taken several measures to reduce risks for consumers, including reducing the level of charge to 75 per cent in these batteries until a replacement can be made. This process can be done remotely by LG to solar batteries connected to the internet.

There have been nine property damage incidents reported in Australia since October 2019 as a result of these recalled products.

Affected customers can follow the instructions found http://www.lgessbattery.com/au on to check the battery’s serial number. From here, you can cross-reference this number with the recall list.

If you have an affected battery, you will need to get in touch with LG as soon as possible to discuss further options.

For more information regarding the recall, please visit the Product Safety Australia website.


Image credit: iyks/Shutterstock.com

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