Multiple Fires Force CPSC to Recall Costco Solar Patio Umbrellas

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Costco’s solar-powered patio umbrellas sold in the US and Canada have been recalled over a fire hazard. Authorities confirmed that the solar patio umbrellas exclusively sold at Costco, in a variety of colors, caught fire, and raised safety concerns.

Costco umbrella recall

Costco’s solar patio umbrellas have been recalled as the lithium ion batteries are a fire hazard.

Solar Patio Umbrellas from Costco

On June 23, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in a news release urged customers to “immediately stop using” the solar patio umbrellas as it can overheat and cause accidents. CNN reported that the CPSC issued the urgent advisory after it received over six reports of batteries of the SunVilla 10 foot Solar LED Market Umbrella overheating.

The CPSC in its Costco umbrella recall stated that “the lithium-ion batteries in the umbrella’s solar panels can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards.” Around 400,000 units of the solar patio umbrellas have been sold in the US while approximately 33,000 units have been sold in Canada.

The umbrellas have LED lights on the arms, and a black solar panel battery puck marked with YEEZE or YEEZE 1, and were sold nationwide online and through the retailer‘s warehouses from December 2020 to May 2022 for between $130 and $160.

The Costco umbrella recall was jointly issued by the CPSC, Health Canada, SunVilla, and Costco. The CPSC has urged customers to remove the solar panel puck from the top of the umbrella and to store it away from combustible material. The agency also warned customers against charging it with the AC adapter. The CPSC said it had received, “three reports of solar panels catching fire while charging via the AC adapter indoors and two reports of umbrellas catching fire when the solar panel puck overheated and caught fire while attached to the umbrella and one smoke inhalation injury.”

In Canada, SunVilla received one report of a battery overheating causing the umbrella to catch fire. There were no reports of an injury.

Customers can return the solar patio umbrellas and solar puck to any Costco Warehouse nationwide for a full refund. In case they are unable to do so in person, they can contact the helpline. All customers will receive a complete refund. In the meantime, Costco and SunVilla are working on contacting all purchasers.

The CPSC clarified that customers can call SunVilla toll-free at 866-600-3133 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, email at LEDRecall@sunvilla.com, or online at https://sunvilla.com/pages/recall, or online at https://sunvilla.com/ and click on the red banner at the top for “Important Recall Notice” for more information.

Are Solar Batteries a Fire Risk?

The two most popular types of solar batteries are the lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) and lithium iron phosphate (LFP).

The lithium-ion battery energy storage systems pose some serious risks if not handled properly. Thermal runaway can cause it to release toxic gasses and the malfunctioning cell might cause other cells to crash, resulting in a hazardous situation. A malfunctioning lithium-ion battery tends to overheat gradually or quickly. This increase in temperature causes it to release toxic gasses, wherein the battery experiences thermal runaway – its internal temperature increases at a rate greater than the rate at which the heat can be dissipated into the surrounding environment. Often, this leads to an explosion and releases toxic gasses.

The CPSC reported that there were more than 25,000 issues involving fires or overheating stemming from lithium ion batteries in a five-year period as of March 2022. One of the biggest fires happened in Jamaica, New York, and brought the Long Island Rail Road system to a halt for over 10 hours. In another case, in Illinois, a businessman stored over 200,000 lithium batteries in a building, which caught fire due to a water leakage, forcing firefighters to evacuate over 1,000 homes.

Proper recycling of lithium ion batteries is essential to prevent untoward incidents.

The post Multiple Fires Force CPSC to Recall Costco Solar Patio Umbrellas appeared first on Industry Leaders Magazine.

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