SolarWorld issues US, Canada recall

SolarWorld Americas is recalling about 1.3 million solar PV systems in the US and 210,000 in Canada after warning that their bare-copper grounding lugs can corrode, posing a potential risk of shock, electrocution and fire.

According to an announcement by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), if the brown lugs on the solar panels do corrode, this may result in a faulty ground circuit and subsequent potential hazards.

SolarWorld says that it has received a single report of corrosion tied to the bare-copper lugs, with customers reporting no injuries.

CSPS, an independent federal agency, says that the recall includes solar systems with bare-copper lugs installed after 1 June 2010. Prices for the systems ranged from around $1,000 to 10 times that much depending on system size.

SolarWorld has revised the installation instructions for those systems to require tin-coated lugs and indicated by the silver color of the lug.

CSPS says that consumers who can identify the improper lugs should contact SolarWorld for replacement. If not, they should contact the company to have an authorized SolarWorld agent inspect the installation and replace the lugs with tin-coated grounding lugs or an equally safe alternative free of charge.

Federal law bars any person or company from selling products subject to either a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by CSPS.

SolarWorld did not estimate the cost of the recall.