- Ford has shut down production and shipping of the F-150 Lightning electric truck, citing a battery issue.
- The automaker is currently investigating a potential problem with the battery, although it said there have been no accidents or injuries associated with it in customer use.
- There is no timeline for when production of the highly popular EV will resume, Ford said on Tuesday.
UPDATE 3/2/23: In a statement today, Ford said it will restart production of the extremely popular F-150 Lightning electric pickup on March 13. The additional 11-day delay, it said, is to allow "time for [supplier] SK On's battery cells to be built into battery arrays and packs and be delivered to the Lightning production line." Ford's spokesperson went on to say: "In the weeks ahead, we will continue to apply our learnings and work with SK On's team to ensure we continue delivering high-quality battery packs—down to the battery cells. As REVC ramps up production, we will continue holding already produced vehicles while we work through engineering and parts updates." C/D inquired about the nature of the problem with the original battery, and Ford responded, "We aren't providing additional details at this time."
UPDATE 2/15/23: Ford issued a fresh statement on Wednesday afternoon stating that it has figured out what the problem is with the F-150 Lightning's battery. The automaker is now saying production at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center will be suspended "through at least the end of next week," which will be February 24 or later. "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.
"We are not aware of any incidents of this issue in the field and do not believe F-150 Lightnings already in customers' hands are affected by this issue," the Ford statement said. The statement did not explain what the battery issue was, however.
Ford's F-150 Lightning pickup truck has proved wildly popular in its first year of production, but customers already standing by to get one may have to wait a little longer. The automaker said today that it has detected a potential problem with the EV's battery and has shut down both production of the trucks and shipping of those already built but not yet delivered to dealers. No date has been given for resumption of production.
The Lightning is built at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, where production started in late April 2022. A Ford spokesperson told Car and Driver that the truck is under a "Stop Build and In-Transit Stop Ship" and explained, "As part of our pre-delivery quality inspections, a vehicle displayed a potential battery issue and we are holding vehicles while we investigate. We are not aware of any incidences of this issue in the field." Motor Authority reported earlier today that F-150 Lightning pickups already at dealerships will be delivered to customers and are not affected by the order.
Laura Sky Brown has been involved in automotive media for a very long time, and she sees it as her calling to guard the legacy and help ensure the continued high quality of Car and Driver. She was one of the first staffers at Automobile Magazine in the '80s and has worked for many other car magazines and websites as a writer, editor, and copy editor ever since. It has been her privilege to edit many of the greats of automotive journalism over the years, including the ones who currently write for C/D.