Home > Latest News > When Samsung Had A Faulty Product They Spent Millions Telling Consumers, The ACCC Had To Force LG To Take Action

When Samsung Had A Faulty Product They Spent Millions Telling Consumers, The ACCC Had To Force LG To Take Action

Despite thousands of Australians facing the real prospect that their houses could burn down due to faulty LG solar battery problems, LG this week found the marketing budget to put on a slap up celebration to herald 30 years of operating in Australia.

The saga  involving LG’s exploding solar batteries that have been identified as being so faulty that they have been known to burn a house down in Australia, has been ongoing since 2021, with LG Energy Solutions slammed by the ACCC for not spending marketing dollars to informor the Company of the problem.

The Managing Director at LG Energy Solution Australia is Phillip Crotty who to date has not commented on the situation in Australia to technology media.

LG Energy Solution Ltd (LGES Korea) and LG Energy Solution Australia Pty Ltd (LGES Australia) (together LGES) was initially owned by LG Chem’s battery business that officially became a separate company and changed its name to LG Energy Solution Ltd. in December 2020.

The business is 100% owned by the LG Corporation who also own parent Company LG Electronics Australia who sell appliances and TV’s as well as air conditioning and enterprise display solutions and who this week is refusing to comment  on what impact the battery problem will have on their TV and appliance business.

Neither ChannelNews or SmartHouse have got any press releases from LG Energy Solutions or LG Electronics highlighting the problem unlike what happened when arch rival Samsung had a major problem with a faulty washing machine.

At the time Samsung out of their way to advertise and promote the issue, with several press releases issued to media and it cost them millions in recall marketing dollars.

Their recall marketing appeared on TV shows and widely across radio networks to alert consumers to the problem with one of their washing machines.As for LG it was the actions of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission and the Federal Government that has forced the South Korean Company to invest in a marketing campaign to alert and protect consumers from faulty LG solar storage batteries which can overheat and catch fire without warning with 15 homes already impacted by the faulty LG product.

LG has known of the problem affecting around 18,000 batteries since 2020.

Concerningly, there are still around 4,400 batteries that are yet to be located with LG accused of not doing enough resulting in the Australian Federal Government having to step in to basically force them to be more proactive.LG Companies in Australia including LG Energy Solutions and LG Electronics who manufacture TV’s and appliances, appear to have a problem managing or even addressing issues that negatively impact their so-called Life’s Good brand.

A visit to Trust Pilot reveals a tyranny of complaints about the Life’s Good Company that only has a rating of 1.3 out of five. (We will address this story tomorrow as some of the comments relating to their TV’s and appliances are shocking).

 

The problem with the LG batteries is not isolated to LG branded products, with the South Korean Company OEM manufacturing products branded iSolaX, Opal, Redback, Red Earth, Eguana and Varta with all these solar batteries affected by the recall.
This is a Company that will issue 30+ press releases about what they are releasing at trade shows or which technology they are investing in, but when it comes to consumer safety the Company appears to duck for cover in an effort to save face or not be embarrassed.

They have also been known to complain to media Companies when a negative story such as their 21% fall in revenue in Australia is published as ChannelNews did recently.

They have also been known to lie about the sacking of staff who are being replaced with people on significantly lower salaries.

In a statement issued to ChannelNews recently Gemma Lemieux the Marketing Director at LG Electronics Australia said, “At LG Electronics Australia, we strive to maintain a professional and respectful relationship with members of the media, and all stakeholders in general, as we believe in the importance of an informed and fair press”.

Gemma Lemieux the Marketing Director at LG Electronics Australia seen right.

Addressing stories about the Companies falling profits and revenues, and their WebOS Smart TV software which has been described as a security risk that LG knew about and like their current battery problem failed to inform local media, she claimed that our so-called negative stories were a recurring “pattern of conduct and communication that does not align with our company’s values and the professional standards we strive to uphold”.

She failed to claim that the stories were “inaccurate” in her email.

Questions over LG Corporate values or the lack of them appear to go back years.

In 2019 the Federal Court fined LG Electronics $160,000 for making misleading statement to consumers about their questionable TVs.

The ACCC instituted proceedings against LG in December 2015 after consumers reported defects with its televisions.

The ACCC accused the Company of basically misleading consumers at the time.

This time round LG’s Energy Solutions subsidiary tried to get out of an expensive recall by providing diagnostic software to identify and shut down systems at risk of overheating, but this failed to work resulting in the ACCC’s recent action.

At the time LG committed to providing financial compensation to owners to offset any increase to electricity bills resulting from a switched off or shut-down battery.

Right up to last week LG was trying to avoid a total recall with a letter sent to one affected customer that the Solar Quotes Blog reported.

“LG Energy Solution is presently investigating the cause of an unexpected overheating incident in a battery which had diagnostic software, and in doing so reviewing the diagnostic software remedy. As a matter of safety, you should immediately switch off your battery until we complete our investigation … We expect this review to be completed by the middle of August 2024 and once concluded we will contact you to advise whether to switch the battery back on, or of an alternative remedy.”

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) responded immediately claiming that they were “extremely concerned” by this development and were now monitoring the situation closely.

The blog claims that they have covered the LG battery recall saga a number of times due to its seriousness – and because it has taken so long and has been fraught with issues and that as of late last year, 8,000 affected LG manufactured batteries remained in homes.

The frightening part is that LG Energy appear to have not had a program in place to identify which homes had installed one of their batteries a process that could be easily overcome by a compulsory warranty registration via their reseller network.

Today more than 4,400 batteries that could burn a house down still haven’t been located according to the ACCC.

The ACCC took action because they were concerned by the lack of advertising and PR announcements from LG alerting consumers to the recall.

“Following ACCC advice provided earlier this year, the Assistant Treasurer issued a proposed recall notice, which is a formal step towards a compulsory recall, due to concerns that LG had not taken satisfactory action to prevent the affected batteries causing injury to any person.” the ACCC said.

Now it’s taken a court-enforceable undertaking, and the actions of the Assistant Treasurer to get the South Korean Company to actually invest marketing dollars in an effort to protect consumers.

A visit to the LG Energy Solutions web site still reveals that the business is punting on a software fix.

“Under the recall, LGESAU is rolling out free diagnostic software, which has been assessed by Energy Safe Victoria and has been designed by LGES to identify and shut down batteries at risk of overheating.”

15 houses have so far been affected by the poorly manufactured LG batteries, and if it was not for Australia’s strict regulations concerning consumer safety it appears that LG was going to try and get away without having to spend money on a marketing recall.

This is the same South Korean entity that in March announced that they had generated over one billion dollars selling information on their customers.



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