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Ford F-150 Lightning Battery Fire Prompted Production Pause

As Ford Authority reported earlier this week, Ford F-150 Lightning production at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center was recently paused due to a potential battery issue discovered during pre-delivery quality inspections, though the automaker didn’t provide any specific details as to what that problem might be. That shutdown was later delayed until at least the end of next week, though Ford is investigating the matter, and has no timeline on when production and shipments will resume. Now, the automaker has confirmed that the cause of that production shutdown was indeed a battery fire that occurred in a holding lot on February 4th, according to the Detroit Free Press.

“I can confirm one vehicle fire. Let me reiterate, we have no reason to believe F-150 Lightnings already in customer hands are affected by this issue,” said Ford spokesperson Emma Bergg. “We are suspending production at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center through at least the end of next week. 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.”

According to Bergg, the fire spread to another vehicle on the lot, which is used to store vehicles that are awaiting quality reviews before they’re shipped to dealers. With production shut down for at least three weeks in total, the UAW workers at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center are on layoff, and those with at least one year of seniority are receiving 75 percent of their pre-tax pay during this stretch.

The Free Press notes that the issue that caused this fire is directly related to the battery itself – not assembly – which is produced by supplier SK On at its plant in Atlanta and then assembled at the Ford Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti. Ford engineers are working with SK to resolve the issue, and vehicles that are already on dealer lots are not affected, according to The Blue Oval.

We’ll have more on this issue very soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-Series newsFord F-150 newsF-150 Lightning news, and non-stop Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. David Dickinson II

    The number of incidents of EVs spontaneously combusting is very disturbing, and the intensity of their heat is ferocious. How long will it be until “garaging an EV” becomes a risk factor that adds to your homeowners insurance rates?

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Daily business in ICE since forever.

      Today:
      autonews.
      com/automakers-suppliers/2021-2023-ram-diesel-trucks-recalled-after-fire-reports

      Reply
      1. David Dickinson II

        For running vehicles, or ones recently turned off. Not parked quietly for hours sitting in your garage until 3:00 AM and then BOOM!

        Reply
        1. RWFA

          You’re adding artificial constraints and moving goalposts DD.

          Still daily business for ICE.

          I’m not going to bother bringing the receipts but ICE and even just E&E subsystems have been good for this.

          Personal anecdote, I had an engineering professor, his wife was some big surgeon.

          One evening they were at the dinner table and she says, something is wrong with my car.

          Like what?, asks he.

          I don’t know, but I smelled smoke when I pulled into the garage earlier.

          He gets up from the table goes and opens the door to the garage and it’s all on fire…

          No one was hurt and insurance covered the losses but still, just a daily thing in the automotive world.

          Shocking for them but a funny story just the same.

          Reply
    2. Mike says...

      Your point about insurance is well taken. Comments below mischaracterize the risk by comparing ICE fires. They are not the same! The risk of damage or loss of life due to a battery fire is far greater than one due to an ICE vehicle.
      Responding fire services do not and cannot manage battery fires in the same fashion which remains an unsolved challenge looking ahead.
      At least Ford, unlike TESLA, has taken extraordinary steps to incorporate safety nannies throughout their product line and refrains from using their customers as ‘test samples’.

      Reply
      1. RWFA

        Oh nonsense Mike, you still hoping Ford will stop making its own cars to build Teslas under contract?

        Stop being so dramatic. ICE fires are a thing. Vehicle fires unrelated to powertrain are a thing. Cars can and regularly catch fire.

        There have been, are and will be techniques developed by fire safety associations to deal with different kinds of vehicle fires. For EV it will be no different.

        Reply
  2. whypac

    Everyone needs to take some time, reflect, think about the number of batteries they have used over the course of their lives, in toys, flashlights, tv remotes, cell phones, etc., and then think about the number of batteries they have seen “rupture and explode” and ruin their device.

    For anyone that has experienced this, do you seriously believe a supersized, automobile EV battery is immune to rupture/explosion/fire? Batteries are batteries. Case and point, this article. An F150 EV battery ruptured and went up in flames just sitting unused in a holding lot. Thus, anyone considering the purchase of a EV seriously needs to think about the destructive power of the infinitesimally small batteries used in their everyday life (toys, etc, as above) and realize a similar rupture/explosion of an automobile EV battery is going to be bad day, especially if the EV is in your garage, not in a holding lot.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Yes, and also ICE since forever. Also high current ignition switches. Also cruise control defeat switches. Etc. etc.

      Latest ICE Do Not Park Indoors:

      autonews.
      com/automakers-suppliers/2021-2023-ram-diesel-trucks-recalled-after-fire-reports

      Reply
  3. RWFA

    My expectation as I said in the comments to the previous story on this issue, is I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a latent defect that is already in the field and fortunately the vehicle in transit had a far below average MTBF; as bad as the incident it, it’s a very lucky stroke for Ford that it didn’t happen much further downstream.

    What Ford has to do now with all haste is get a root cause and then make clear statements publicly. Of course s recall is a clear statement required by law.

    But in any case, they should explain to customers what happened and how they have corrected the and do this even if they don’t need to recall.

    Everybody has problems in production, but the thing folks forgive is when they are clearly informed and quickly taken care of.

    Reply
  4. pat s

    Watch Ford’s future when a Lightning owner fries like a BBQ when the batteries catch fire.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Ok FUDster.

      And of course that person, just immediately before this calamity, must have been rendered paralyzed by the sight of Greg battling the zombies.

      Reply

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