December 18, 2020: Another day, another lithium fire. The latest recall comes from LG Energy Solution, the battery firm spun off from LG Chem. On December 16 it recalled its lithium-ion home battery systems in Michigan, US — just over a week after it launched a new line of the products.
Five reports of LG Chem RESU 10H fires resulting in minor property damage but no injuries were mentioned on the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Recalls page.
“The home batteries can overheat, posing a risk of fire and emission of harmful smoke,” says the document, which specifies that 1,815 units sold between January 2017 to March 2019 are subject to recall. They sold for around $8,000 each.
A new range of LG RESU home batteries was launched at an online event on December 7 in Europe and the US and Australia on December 10.
The new LG RESU Prime product comprises the LG RESU 10H and 16H Prime products, offering ‘large-capacity, high-powered batteries courtesy of industry-leading energy density, while allowing much needed sustainable energy use through its proactive efforts towards fair cobalt procurement’.
There is no suggestion that the new range poses a fire risk, ‘having passed all safety tests conducted in the harshest conditions’, the company said.
As well as the RESU Prime, LG Energy also unveiled an LG RESU FLEX at its online events.
LG Chem has come under fire a few times for the fire risks posed by its batteries, including a fire at the Arizona Public Service facility in April 2019, which independent assessors blamed on thermal runaway caused by internal cell failure.
LG Chem rejected the findings in a 137-page letter, saying the analysis did not produce evidence of internal cell failure.
The amount of lithium fire recalls in electric vehicles has hit a record high in 2020 according to an IdTechEx research on thermal management announced in early December.
In China, 10,579 battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids have been recalled due to fire hazards across seven OEMs (January to October).
General Motors has recalled 68,667 Chevrolet Bolts, telling owners not to park their cars near their house or in their garage for risk of fire.