Solar batteries face national recall after setting homes ablaze

Aussie homeowners are being told to check their solar energy storage systems after a batch of "unsafe" batteries ignited a wave of home fires. 

By Jarrod
5 Min Read

Aussie homeowners are being told to check their solar energy storage systems after a batch of “unsafe” batteries ignited a wave of home fires. 

Across the country, 13 incidents of property damage have been linked to LG solar units manufactured between 2016 and 2019 that overheated and caught fire without warning, including the destruction of a home in Victoria. 

Following a recommendation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones called for a mandatory recall of the products after he found suppliers hadn’t taken the correct safety precautions to prevent customer injury. 

“There is a serious risk of injury or death and/or property damage if a fire occurs, particularly because the batteries are normally installed on an internal or external wall of the main residence,” he said in a statement.

Burn LG solar battery storage unit that caught fire

ACCC Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe said around 5000 affected LG solar storage batteries still remain a threat to households across the country. 

“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,” she said.

“Even if you don’t have an LG-branded solar storage system, please still follow our recommended steps to check your battery to protect your home and your family. 

“Some of the affected batteries are installed in systems sold under other brands or in unbranded systems,” 

ACCC’s proposed recall notice would also see LG and its competitors forced to take additional steps to publicise the recall and the serious safety risk to increase consumer awareness and location rates. 

“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,” said Ms Lowe.

“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.”

If a battery is found to be faulty, consumers have a right to receive a refund, replacement or software update to fix the problem at no cost to them.

LG has also committed to compensating consumers facing higher energy bills while switching their systems off.

In a statement issued yesterday, LG said its energy companies were “carefully considering the (proposed recall notice) and next steps,” and planned to provide a “comprehensive explanation to the ACCC”.

“LG Energy Solution remains committed to engaging with the ACCC about progressing the recalls and engaging in this process with utmost sincerity,” the statement said.

What should you do if your battery is faulty?

Check to see if your battery has been recalled, no matter what brand your system is. Affected LG batteries may be hiding in other branded batteries, including SolaX, and in unbranded solar energy systems. Visit LG’s website, click on ‘Electrical Safety Recall’ and follow the instructions to find out if your battery is affected by the recall.

If your battery has been recalled, switch it off immediately. Refer to the instructions for your energy storage system or contact the installer.

Once turned off, contact LG or SolaX to let them know you have a recalled battery and arrange a free replacement, refund or software update. LG or SolaX will let you know which remedy applies to your battery.

While all affected batteries should be immediately turned off, some will be directly replaced or fully refunded. Other affected LG batteries will receive a software update, which will shut down batteries at risk of overheating, and any LG battery shut down by the software will be replaced or refunded.

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By Jarrod
Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.