LG Home Battery Recall A Hot Mess?

There are unsettling aspects to an ongoing recall of certain LG home batteries and battery packs also used by six other brands. Maybe LG will see this article and finally shed some light.

The history of this saga to date, as I understand it:

LG Energy Solution (previously LG Chem) implemented a voluntary recall in the USA in late 2020 after reports of fires associated with some LG Chem RESU 10H  battery systems.

In February 2021, a recall notice went up on the Product Safety Australia web site indicating certain LG battery models and battery packs used by other brands produced between March 2017 and September 2018 from specific production lots were affected. The notice mentioned:

“the batteries may overheat and catch on fire”.

At that point in time, it looked be only a few hundred units in Australia affected by the recall.

A new/updated recall notice was published in March this year, indicating other brands using affected LG battery packs:

  • SolaX (X-cabinet, PowerStation)
  • Opal Storage (rebadged SolaX).

Not good, but a few hundred batteries/packs should have been relatively easy to track down. LG would have really good systems in place for tracking inventory, there would be warranty registrations and such.

Well, you’d think so anyway.

Dodgy LG Solar Battery Impact Spreads

But then in May this year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) expressed serious concern that *6,400* of the recalled batteries had not been replaced, and that some owners may not be aware of the recall and the fire risk.

In August, the recall notice was updated to include even more brands, being:

  • Redback SH50001
  • Red Earth Sunrise and Drop Bear2
  • Eguana Evolve
  • VARTA Pulse Neo

LG Fails To Respond To Questions

Late last month, we received an email from a PR firm doing work for LG, looking for more coverage regarding the recall on SolarQuotes. I was surprised the recall was still active given the ACCC’s prod in May, and asked this firm a few questions. They said they didn’t have the knowledge to answer. Fair enough; after all, they are just a marketing firm. So, I asked them to point me  to someone at LG who could.

Silence.


"we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
 http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
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Comments

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,294 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I know of at least 7 installers from my work group who have been ignored by LG on the 400vdc battery. They are super unhappy.

    I was lucky that the 48V battery never became available in North America, more LG bungles... Below is more of the same.  --Dave

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Solar Quotes re-sent the same email on September 1. At the time of publishing there still hasn’t been a reply. Maybe LG are just flat out replacing batteries (after 18 months or so) and don’t have time to respond to the likes of me.

    A Pissed-Off (And Nervous) LG Battery Owner

    But just on that – adding to the unsettling general nature of the situation was a review posted to SolarQuotes’ LG Energy Solution’s review page back in May by a system owner who claimed his two batteries were initially limited to 75% capacity by LG remotely per the interim fix.

    But …

    “With increasing swelling of the cells it was deemed that they pose too high a risk and have been shut down.”

    Swelling of the cells? Eek!

    The owner claimed he had waited 9 months for replacement of his batteries at that point.

    “LG have refused to remove the fire risk from under my house – in fact under the floor of my master bedroom…. They keep offering to pay for our electricity at 30c/kW (after they’ve eventually replaced the system – date likely to be a YEAR), but won’t give me a date to remove the potential fireballs under my house.”

    I’ve tried contacting the reviewer to find out whether the batteries have finally been removed and replaced since, but didn’t receive a reply.

    Home batteries are still fairly new tech and have been plagued by issues if testing by the Canberra Battery Test Centre is generally indicative of quality and reliability. With that in mind, SolarQuotes has advised if Australians are going to buy a battery, make sure it’s from a solid company that will stand by its products.

    But in the absence of response from LG Energy Solution to my questions, in my opinion, the company has really screwed the pooch on this recall.

    How To Check A Battery (And Do It Now)

    Given the serious nature of the issue, owners of LG solar batteries or any of the brands mentioned above should see instructions on this page on how to identify an affected system. Don’t put it off – do it right now. If you know of someone who could potentially have one of the affected products, do them a favour and point the person to that page. It could save their home – and their life.

    For any questions or further information required, the ACCC advises contacting LG Energy Solution Australia’s product department via phone on 1300 677 273 or email at [email protected] – and I hope you have better luck than me if you email them.

    If you have been affected and are not getting the attention you rightly deserve; make some noise.

    Footnotes

    1. I’m informed all Redback systems affected by the recall have been located and the majority of batteries replaced as at September 14, 2022. UPDATE 21 September 2022. Redback states: “Further to the initial LG recall, Redback Technologies have identified the homeowners who have affected LG batteries listed in the latest recall and are working with LG to notify and replace these units. Redback Technologies also stopped selling LG batteries in 2019.” 
    2. RedEarth have told me the company no longer uses LG battery packs. UPDATE: Shortly after publishing, a RedEarth spokesperson supplied the following statement:
      “RedEarth has been working with a company representing LG to identify and replace the recalled batteries. We have worked together to contact all RedEarth customers affected by the recall. Over 70 per cent of affected RedEarth customers have already had their batteries replaced with either new LG batteries or RedEarth’s own LFP battery, Troppo. The batteries that haven’t been replaced yet have been disabled, and customers will receive compensation for the number of days without a battery from LG; all relevant customers have been notified. We hope to complete the replacement program by the end of this month.”
      UPDATE 2: RedEarth subsequently noted: “Some of the replacements have been scheduled for October based on the availability of customers, so we hope to have the replacement program completed next month.” 
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mike_smike_s Registered Users Posts: 149 ✭✭
    Remember when LG (Lucky Goldstar) was branded Goldstar in the US, and had a reputation for making cheap crap electronics?
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