Over the past year, automakers have been struggling with making cars. This was apparent throughout 2022 as everyone from Honda to BMW was forced to issue recalls to repair faulty models. Now, Ford is facing its own production woes and this week paused assembly of its all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck due to a potential battery issue.
(Update, Feb 15, 2:45 p.m.: Ford now says production at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center will remain on hold until the end of next week while it concludes its investigation into the issue.)
Ford first announced it was shutting down assembly of its F-150 Lightning pickup truck on Tuesday. According to Motor Authority, the stop-build order was issued after the Blue Oval uncovered a potential battery issue with the electric truck. Per Motor Authority:
“On Tuesday, Ford spokesperson Emma Bergg confirmed to Motor Authority that both a stop-build and an in-transit stop-ship order have been issued for the F-150 Lightning due to a potential battery issue.
“The nature of the battery issue was not disclosed by the automaker.
“Bergg said the potential issue was identified as part of Ford’s pre-delivery quality inspections. The automaker is unaware of any incidents or issues associated with this potential issue in the field with customer-owned trucks.”
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Now, Ford says it will suspend production at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center “through at least the end of next week.” The pause will give the automaker time to conclude its investigation into the issue. Ford spokesperson Emma Bergg told Jalopnik:
“During a standard Lightning pre-delivery quality inspection, one vehicle displayed a battery issue. We believe we have identified the root cause of this issue. By the end of next week, we expect to conclude our investigation and apply what we learn to the truck’s battery production process; this could take a few weeks.
“We will continue holding already-produced vehicles while we work through engineering and process updates.”
The company adds that a stop-sale order has not been issued for the electric trucks, and Ford insists that it has not yet heard of any customers being affected by the battery issues.
The F-150 Lightning, which began deliveries to customers early last year, is Ford’s first foray into the electric pickup truck game. On the market, it joins similar battery-powered trucks from the likes of Rivian and the GMC Hummer EV.
Since hitting dealer lots, popularity of the F-150 Lightning has been through the roof, prompting long lead times, sky-high dealer demand and outrageous markups for anyone hoping to get their hands on the truck. A setback like this will surely make potential customers even more antsy to get one.