‘Deadly’: Major warning over popular solar batteries

Elizabeth PikeNCA NewsWire
Not Supplied
Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: Supplied

Thousands of popular solar batteries have been urgently recalled as Aussies are told to search their homes for the “hidden” fire-prone products.

Assistant treasurer Stephen Jones announced the national safety warning following a concerned recommendation by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission over LG solar lithium-ion storage batteries on Monday.

“There is a serious risk of injury, death or property damage if a fire occurs, particularly

because the batteries are normally installed on an internal or external wall of the main

residence,” Mr Jones said.

“Every house fire has the potential to be deadly. The batteries can catch on fire at any time, without warning.

Solar batteries fire risk across Australia.
Camera IconNine incidents of burnt-out solar systems has sparked the recall. Supplied. Credit: Supplied

“Fires arising from lithium-ion batteries are difficult to extinguish and may spontaneously reignite, and the consequences and severity of fires can be exacerbated during the spring and summer seasons with higher temperatures.

“The specified LG Batteries are large lithium-ion batteries that allow capture and storage of

energy from solar panels,” he said.

At least nine known fire incidents have already been reported, including one case of personal injury and another case where a house was completely destroyed in a blaze linked to an LG battery overheating.

In a statement to the media, the ACCC urged “everyone with a solar system (should) check their battery now to make sure they keep their family safe”.

It read: “Affected batteries risk overheating and this could start a house fire that could potentially injure or even kill occupants.”

Solar batteries fire risk across Australia.
Camera IconSolarX is among the main solar system brands that may contain affected LG batteries. Supplied. Credit: Supplied

The Commission estimates 8,000 affected batteries are currently installed in homes across Australia in branded systems like SolarX, Opal, Redback, Red Earth, Eguana and VARTA.

However the ACCC warned over 6,000 batteries “have not yet been located,” as many products have been sold in unbranded systems.

“Thousands of people may be unaware they live in homes that have one of these affected batteries installed in their solar energy system,” ACCC deputy chair Catriona Lowe said.

“Even if you have already checked whether your battery is affected by the recalls, check it again via the LG website and turn off your LG battery straight away if it has been recalled.

“LG will provide a refund, replacement or software update to fix the problem, and has also committed to paying compensation to consumers who incur higher energy bills while their system is switched off.”

Solar batteries fire risk across Australia.
Camera Icon13 system models are currently subject to recall. Supplied. Credit: Supplied

It is understood the affected LG batteries span across 13 models sold nationally through retailers from January 21 2016 onwards.

Consumers are encouraged to look at their solar system regardless of the brand as summer approaches and heighten fire risks.

Originally published as ‘Deadly’: Major warning over popular solar batteries

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails