The ACCC will be directly contacting almost 5,000 households that are likely to have energy solar systems with dangerous LG solar batteries in the coming weeks, to continue efforts to raise awareness about safety recalls.
The batteries, which may be branded LG, SolaX, Opal, Redback, Red Earth, Eguana, and VARTA, can overheat and catch fire, causing property damage and injuries. The ACCC is reaching out to consumers who are likely to have recalled LG batteries to warn them of the fire risk associated with the faulty batteries.
Consumers are urged to turn affected batteries off, keep them off and contact the manufacturer for a free replacement or a refund. LG will provide financial compensation to consumers who have higher electricity bills as a result of not being able to use their battery as expected.
So far, about 2,900 batteries have been replaced or removed from consumers’ properties. A further 1,400 batteries have been switched off or have had the maximum charge capacity reduced to 75 per cent to reduce the risk overheating while waiting for a replacement or refund.
However, LG and SolaX are trying to trace around 3,000 additional recalled batteries.
“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(link is external) again. We remain very concerned about the fire risks these faulty batteries pose, so please act quickly,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“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.”
LG will replace recalled batteries manufactured between 29 March 2017 and 13 September 2018 free of charge. Alternatively, consumers can opt for a refund and have the recalled battery removed from their property at no cost.
“While we are trying to reach as many affected households as possible in the coming weeks, please don’t wait to be contacted. Check if your battery has been recalled and take action now,” Ms Rickard said.
LG has also advised the ACCC that they have identified about 10,000 additional batteries that are at risk of overheating. To address this risk, LG is proposing to install diagnostic software to identify and shut down dangerous batteries, which will then be replaced for free. Electrical safety regulators are currently assessing LG’s proposed diagnostic software remedy for these additional batteries.
What consumers should do
1. Check if your battery has been recalled
Consumers can use the serial number checker on the LG website https://www.lgessbattery.com/au/main/main.lg(link is external) to see if their energy storage system is affected by the recall.
2. If your battery has been recalled, switch it off
To switch off the battery storage system safely, refer to the instructions for the battery storage system or contact the installer or LG Energy Solution 1300 677 273 or email email@example.com
3. Contact the manufacturer
Contact the manufacturer to let them know you have a recalled battery and arrange a remedy.
For LG, Redback, Red Earth, Evolve or VARTA energy storage systems contact LG Energy Solution on 1300 677 273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For SolaX or Opal battery systems contact SolaX Power on 1300 476 529 ore email email@example.com
About 7,500 batteries have already been recalled and about 10,000 additional batteries are affected by a proposed diagnostic software remedy which electrical safety regulators are assessing.
The batteries are installed in homes primarily as part of a solar energy system to capture and store renewable energy.
The affected batteries were manufactured between 29 March 2017 and 13 September 2018 and supplied to consumers in Australia from 15 May 2017.
The ACCC’s role to date has been to assist with the messaging, updating the recall notice on the PSA website, checking the effectiveness of the recall with the supplier and raising any concerns that arise. The ACCC relies on the technical expertise of the electrical regulators to understand the pathway to failure and the risk of electrical products.
The ACCC and state/territory electrical and ACL regulators share information about the recall, and cooperate about potential escalation and consumer communication options.
For more information consumers can contact LG Energy Solution Australia for LG, Redback, Red Earth, Eguana or VARTA systems (phone 1300 677 273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail)) or SolaX Power for SolaX or Opal system batteries (email email@example.com(link sends e-mail) or phone 1300 476 529).