LG Battery Recall Continues: Solax Power And Opal Storage Affected

LG Solar Battery recall

A new recall notice went up on the Australian Government’s Product Safety web site last Wednesday in relation to LG batteries utilised in some energy storage systems from a couple of other brands.

In March last year, we reported on a recall for various LG Chem RESU models and LG S/A Gen2 ESS battery packs with cells from specific production lots manufactured between March 2017 and September 2018. The models of battery packs involved:

  • EM048063P3S4
  • EM048126P3S7

We mentioned back then affected packs may have been used in other energy storage systems.

A new notice on ProductSafety says the affected LG batteries were also installed in SolaX Power’s X-cabinet, PowerStation and Opal Storage products.

“The affected LG batteries may overheat and cause a fire,” states the notice. “If a battery overheats, it may cause a fire that can result in injury or death and/or damage to property. Incidents have occurred and caused damage to property.”

Owners of affected LG S/A Gen2 ESS units are urged to immediately contact SolaX Power by email at [email protected] or by telephone on 1300 476 529.

“SolaX Power will help you find out if you have an affected battery. If you have an affected LG battery, SolaX Power will help you switch off the unit until the maximum state of charge of your battery is reduced or the battery is replaced. This charge reduction is an interim measure that will reduce the risk of overheating.”

Affected batteries will be replace free of charge.

It’s curious that after more than a year, a new recall notice has been issued – there’s obviously still some affected units kicking about the place. And the recall from last year was several months after a recall in the USA, but that was just for the RESU 10H battery at that point.

Solar Batteries And Safety

LG Energy Solution (previously LG Chem) has been in the battery game for a very long time and manufactures a shedload of energy storage products, large and small.

The LG EM048063P3S4 and EM048126P3S7 are based on lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) cells. While lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) is widely considered the safest chemistry, that doesn’t make NMC unsafe. A number of other major battery manufacturers use NMC cells, including Tesla for its Powerwall.

Home battery storage is generally very safe, but all lithium-ion technologies can experience what’s called “thermal runaway”. An increase in temperature caused by a fault can fuel a further temperature increase, to the point of a battery venting with flame or going bang.

This is why when buying a solar battery, the chemistry isn’t as important as the general quality of the system, the brand backing it and the installer. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but when a cure is needed you’ll also want ready access to a) a diagnosis and b) a treatment plan. Unfortunately, some manufacturers (regardless of the product) choose to cover up issues and hope for the best.

This latest notice won’t be doing LG any favours, but of course it’s the right and necessary thing to do. Aside from these affected units manufactured between March 2017 and September 2018, I’m not aware of any other similar actions needing to be undertaken by LG for its solar batteries.

In other fairly recent news from LG’s family of companies, LG’s board of directors in South Korea announced in late February it would be exiting solar panel manufacturing after a review of the impact of rising material and logistics costs along with supply constraints.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. We notified Solax of our battery’s details in January, and we are STILL waiting for our product replacement (April). Solax keep saying that LG haven’t shipped the replacement batteries yet. Our neighbours notified them in November! Good luck to anyone who has an LG battery needing replacement, you might be waiting years! Class action anyone?

    • Brian Lawrence says

      Yes,Tim that’s a brilliant idea, have been waiting almost 7 months for a replacement all my calls to LGA are a waste of time.

      Good Luck
      Brian

  2. George Kaplan says

    Speaking of battery issues: https://www.news.com.au/technology/family-home-destroyed-in-fire-reportedly-started-by-charging-tesla/news-story/b3dfed12d21ea9a80372c6919b0cfa17

    Sure it might be unusual, but it is something folk will worry about.

    • Bob Downe says

      Hi,

      AFAIKS, there’s nothing about a battery actually causing that fire (well not so far). It says it was thought that a Tesla charging caught fire, but there was no Tesla in the garage. There’s video at the top of the page with a Tesla on the street, that was a crash in Melbourne. Maybe it’s been updated since you posted?

      Bob

  3. allan hamblin says

    I read where you (Finn I think) spoke of level 1, 2 & 3 chargers for charging an EV. Is that specifically for charging from the grid (i.e. no solar installed) or, is a charger (separate from and additional to a Hybrid Inverter such as the LGES5048) necessary for 2 way solar car charging and home supply (no house battery involved)?
    I don’t think you have covered this… I am considering a new solar system and a new EV. We don’t use a vehicle much and don’t use a lot of electricity either, but solar would not save much without a battery. By combining the two (expensive yes) but I think grid buy and bowser buy might be almost eliminated.

  4. This is Ted. Why is LG not updating anyone about replacing these defective solar batteries? Exactly what are they doing right now to fulfill their promise of replacing these batteries? I know of only a class action suit in Michigan but
    that seems to be going nowhere.

  5. John Parker says

    My Resu10 buldged and stopped working in September 2021. It would only charge to 80% for several months before it actually shut down. Its serial number is also on the recall list. Got an email from LG in December 2021 saying they would replace in the first quarter of 2022. That ended 2 months ago and still no word. I wouldn’t recommend LG for power storage.

  6. Seth Krieger says

    My dealer removed our old batteries in early March with the expectation that the replacements would arrive and be installed within a couple of months, but here we are in June and no replacements in sight.

  7. I contacted LG about my RESU10H back in January, after I was told by my installer that my unit had not taken the software update and had to be switched off immediately due to the risk of explosion/fire (he waited on the phone until I had gone outside and turned it off). Since then I followed up with LG in June to be told that by the end of that month I would have a new battery. It was also at that point I was finally advised that I would be paid about $85 for each month the battery was turned off. After previously being told that I should be grateful that I’m getting a “free” replacement battery a few years after my battery was installed.
    Now in August, I still don’t have a replacement battery, and the staff member I talked to most recently suggested to me that my best option would be to request a full refund, and get my installer to get another brand of battery for me. As the staff have repeatedly been given dates by head office, and then those dates have been withdrawn or passed without update or reason.

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