LG Recalls Tens Of Thousands Of OLED TVs For Potential Overheating Problem
South Korean TV manufacturer LG has had to commit to providing free repairs to more than 70,000 of its acclaimed OLED TVs across three major international territories.
The product recall affects as many as 18 different LG OLED models released between 2016 and 2019. After initially only appearing to impact South Korea, it’s now also spread to China and Europe.
The issue concerns an element LG uses in specific power boards to remove impurities from the power supply. This faulty element can cause overheating issues bad enough to produce smoke and make the rear panels of affected OLED TVs run so hot that they could potentially scald the skin of anyone who touches them.
Repairing the problem seems relatively straightforward; faulty power boards are replaced with boards that don’t carry the overheating component. The logistics of achieving the repair on tens of thousands of screens in three different markets, on the other hand, is anything but straightforward.
South Korea is by far the worst hit of the three affected territories, with an estimated 60,000 screens requiring the repair. There the models affected are as follows: the OLED65E6, OLED65G6, and OLED77G6 from 2016; the OLED65B7, OLED65C7, OLED65E7, OLED65G7, OLED65W7, OLED77G7 and OLED77W7 from 2017; the OLED65G8, OLED65W8, OLED77C8 and OLED77W8 from 2018; and the OLED65W9, OLED77B9, OLED77C9 and OLED77W9 from 2019.
In China, the country’s State Administration For Market Regulation recently ordered the recall of 13 LG OLED models: the OLED65C7, OLED65E7, OLED65W7, OLED65E6, OLED65G6, OLED77G6, OLED77W7, OLED77W8, OLED65W8, OLED65W9, OLED77C8, OLED77W9, and OLED77C9A. This is believed to account for 9,434 sets.
The situation in Europe is more complicated. The overheating issues can impact TVs in all the following countries: Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Latvia, and Croatia. However, it only affects five models: the OLED65E6 from 2016, and the OLED65B7, OLED65C7, OLED65E7, OLED65W7 from 2017. Also, the situation is classified by the European Commission as a relatively low-grade ‘voluntary recall program’, not an urgent mandatory recall.
There are a few other nuggets of comfort in all of this, too, for LG and owners of LG OLED TVs. First, it seems that no 55-inch models are affected; had they been, the recall numbers would have been much higher. Second, no TVs from LG’s 2020 OLED range appear to be affected, and in China, the 2019 range is unaffected as well aside from the high-end (and so least common) W9 series.
In Europe, none of LG’s models from the past three years is included in the ‘voluntary recall program’, and the problem has been classified by the Investigations team of the European Commission’s Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs department as ‘low risk’ - the lowest risk classification possible. LG has suggested to us that it isn’t aware of a single incidence of the overheating issue occurring in Europe so far.
Finally, the overheating issue doesn’t currently appear to impact other territories - including the massive US market. If anything significant changes regarding this potentially ongoing situation in the coming weeks, we’ll be sure to let you know.
I’ve spent the past 25 years writing about the world of home entertainment technology. In that time I’m fairly confident that I’ve reviewed more TVs and projectors than any other individual on the planet, as well as experiencing first-hand the rise and fall of all manner of great and not so great home entertainment technologies.
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