Thousands of solar batteries at risk of catching fire, ACCC warns
Almost 5000 households will get a letter from the consumer watchdog warning them about the potential for their solar batteries to catch fire.
LG's solar batteries are part of a massive recall
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said “dangerous” solar batteries were installed under the brands of LG, SolaX, Opal, Redback, Red Earth, Eguana and Varta which could overheat and catch fire.
There was also an additional 10,000 batteries that may be “at risk”.
The ACCC warned affected consumers to turn off the batteries and contact the manufacturer for a free replacement or refund.
“So far, about 2900 batteries have been replaced or removed from consumers’ properties. A further 1400 batteries have been switched off or have had the maximum charge capacity reduced to 75 per cent to reduce the risk of overheating while waiting for a replacement or refund,” the ACCC said.
“However, LG and SolaX are trying to trace around 3000 additional recalled batteries.”
There have been nine reported incidents involving the batteries which resulted in property damage and at least one injury, the ACCC 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.”
It said consumers should check the serial number of the unit against the LG website to see if their unit is affected by the recall.
They should then contact the manufacturer to let them know the unit is part of the recall.
The recall is for units manufactured between March 29, 2017 and September 13, 2018.
LG first announced the recall in February 2021 and later expanded it to include other models.
For consumers with LG, Redback, Evolve or Varta batteries the contact number is 1300 677 273. For SolaX or Opal, the number is 1300 476 529.
LG has said it would financial compensation to consumers who have higher electricity bills as a result of not being able to use their battery as expected.