Korean battery giant LG Chem is recalling models of its lithium-ion home energy storage system units amid overheating and fire concerns.
The company is working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on the recall following reports of five fires with its battery systems that caused limited property damage and no injuries, according to media outlet Bloomberg.
The impacted units were sold from January 2017 through March 2019, according to Bloomberg.
It is thought the cells in the recalled units are at risk of overheating.
An LG Energy Solution official told BEST the company was taking an appropriate measure with relevant authorities and would announce further details through the CPSC.
They said: “Please understand that we can not give you a specific answer. The official stance of EG Energy Solution is this is a voluntary recall and free replacement of some of the batteries in residential ESS products that pre-emptively prioritise customer safety.”
The recalled units include systems sold by SunRun, which uses LG Chem in some of its BrightBox residential storage products.
In a statement to BEST, a SunRun spokesman said: “The health and safety of our customers and employees is Sunrun’s number one priority. LG Chem is working with the CPSC and made the proactive decision to voluntarily recall certain batteries as part of its continued commitment to product safety and to providing the highest quality and service to its customers.
“The recall impacts approximately 5% of Sunrun Brightbox home battery customers (which is about 0.1% of our total customers). We have already started proactively replacing batteries impacted by the recall and have credited customers for the brief downtime.”
The timing could not have been worse for LG Chem, which launched its LG Energy Solution subsidiary on 1 December.
The new company is focused on the global electric vehicle and ESS markets and will be run by its president Kim Jong Hyun,
LG Energy Solution will be working with companies on the voluntary recall to determine the cause of the malfunctions.
Earlier this year LG Chem’s cells were blamed for a fire at a lithium-ion battery storage facility operated by the Arizona Public Service (APS) utility in the US.
The 15-month probe into the fire found the explosion on 19 April, 2019, that seriously injured four fire fighters, began with an internal cell failure within one of the battery cells.
LG Chem refuted claims the thermal runaway was caused by dendritic growth on the batteries it supplied for the 2.16MWh system.