LG provides enforceable undertaking to locate risky batteries


Tuesday, 04 June, 2024

LG provides enforceable undertaking to locate risky batteries

LG Energy Solution has provided an enforceable undertaking to the ACCC to intensify its search for faulty LG solar storage batteries that can overheat and catch fire without warning.

There have been 15 incidents of property damage caused by the solar batteries in Australia, including a house in Victoria that was completely destroyed.

Since 2020, LG has issued voluntary recalls affecting around 18,000 affected batteries, but there are still about 4400 batteries that remain unaccounted for.

A burnt LG battery. Source: ACCC.

An enforceable undertaking is a serious compliance action that can be enforced by a court order if the company fails to meet its commitments.

The undertaking accepted by the ACCC contains commitments by LG to launch a widespread advertising campaign to alert consumers about safety risks with the batteries subject to the recalls, and to use its best endeavours to ensure that all affected batteries are remedied within 12 months.

“We are warning consumers who have a solar energy storage system to check if their battery is affected by these LG recalls. If you have an affected battery, including one that has already received a software update, switch it off and contact LG urgently,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe.

“LG has committed to increase its efforts to alert consumers to the safety risk posed by the affected LG batteries and will take steps to remediate or replace the batteries. LG will also provide compensation to consumers for higher energy bills during the period their battery is switched off.”

Consumers are also being urged to switch off affected batteries that previously received a software update.

This followed a fire involving an affected LG battery that had supposedly been fixed with an LG software update designed to prevent incidents caused by the defect in the batteries.

There are ongoing investigations to determine the cause of the fire and whether the software update failed to work as it should.

“The ACCC is extremely concerned by this development, and we are keeping a close watch,” Lowe said. “LG is contacting affected customers now to instruct them to switch off their batteries. We urge all consumers who previously had a software update installed to immediately switch off their battery, pending the outcome of these investigations.”

Lowe said that as part of the undertaking given to the ACCC, LG had agreed to replace these affected batteries or provide refunds to consumers if investigations conclude that a software update is no longer an appropriate remedy.

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has welcomed news of the enforceable undertaking.

“There simply is no substitute for safety when it comes to electrical equipment and we welcome LG committing to a widespread advertising campaign to alert consumers,” said MEA Chief Executive Officer Kate Raymond.

“Households should feel reassured that the regulator and one of the largest suppliers of solar batteries are working closely to reach every possible consumer who could be impacted by the recall. It underlines the safety-first approach within the industry.”

Consumers can check if their solar battery is affected by visiting https://www.lgessbattery.com/au and following the prompts.

Further information is available on the Product Safety Australia website: PRA 2020/18529 – LG Energy Solution Australia Pty Ltd (formerly LG Chem Australia Pty Ltd).

Top image credit: iStock.com/bluekite

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