LG Energy Solution unveils global ESS battery replacements plan for certain units

by John Shepherd
LG Energy Solution president Jonghyun Kim (inset) said decision to implement global replacement programme was because customer safety and product quality are 'highest priority'. Photos: LES
South Korea’s LG Energy Solution (LES) is launching a global batteries replacement programme for some of its domestic lithium-ion energy storage systems (ESS), amid ongoing concerns the units could overheat and catch fire.

The decision, initially expected to cost around KRW400bn (£254m), marks a significant expansion of ESS replacement schemes the company already has under way in several markets – and will see LES offer free replacements for ESS batteries made between April 2017 and September 2018.

Meanwhile, LES has revealed that a review of its ESS manufacturing and quality assurance processes – conducted after the company was spun off from LG Chem six months ago – showed "there were certain issues in the early production processes for electrodes used in these potentially-affected ESS batteries”.

'Safety and quality'

The "potential risks were found in ESS-only electrodes initially produced in China”, a company statement said.

LES president Jonghyun Kim said the decision to institute a global replacement programme had been taken because "customer safety and product quality are the highest priority”.

He said LES will work with international product safety agencies and customers to undertake "global inspections, replacement, and safety-enhancing upgrades of battery management and control software for affected ESS units”.

LES will offer "modifications” to potentially-affected ESS units to reduce the potential for overheating until replacements arrive.


In addition, the company said it is updating its battery diagnostic and control software in Korea and overseas.

Last year, LG Chem said it was working with authorities in the US on a voluntary recall of some domestic ESS models.

Earlier this year, a recall notice was issued in Australia for certain ESS models supplied by LG Energy Solution Australia as part of home solar power systems.

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