On July 17th, we purchased a Ryobi electric mower that came with two 40V battery packs and a charger. We did as told and made sure the batteries were not stored on the charger and kept inside at room temperature and await from moisture or high humidity. After the first use, both batteries would no longer charge. We contacted Ryobi and received two replacement batteries but they didn’t ask for the batteries back or suggest there was anything concerning to them going into “sleep mode.” Fast forward to October 27th. I happened to walk past our storage room and found it was filled with smoke and smelled horrible. One of the Ryobi batteries had melted a hole in the casing and was spewing smoke/fumes everywhere. My husband grabbed our woodstove gloves, got the battery out of the house, and called the fire department.
The fire department came out and checked out the whole house and confirmed the smoke and fumes were from the battery melting a hole. They used equipment to aerate the house so that we could get our pets and ourselves back into the house and advised us to run fans to continue airing out the melted plastic odor. They also recommended that we contact Home Depot and Ryobi, which I did, but Home Depot has yet to return our message and Ryobi passed us off to a safety group who have yet to get in touch.
As both battery packs that came with the mower were defective, the fire department told us to get the batteries into heavy-duty [REDACTED] bags, a box, and wrap that box in a heavy-duty trash bag. They told us where we need to bring them to ensure they’re properly recycled and handled from this point on.