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Ford F-150 Lightning Battery Suppler Responds To Fire Issue

As Ford Authority recently reported, Ford F-150 Lightning production at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center has been on hold for a month now after one unit caught fire in a holding lot that’s used to store vehicles that are awaiting quality reviews before they’re shipped to dealers, prompting an inquiry from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The issue that caused this fire is directly related to the battery itself, which is produced by supplier SK On at its plant in Atlanta and then assembled at the Ford Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti. FoMoCo worked with SK to find a fix, and now, SK On has released a statement addressing the matter, according to The Detroit News.

“We believe this was a rare occurrence, not a fundamental issue with the technology of the battery cells or our overall manufacturing systems,” the supplier said. “Working with Ford, SK On identified the root cause of the issue and implemented measures of improvement in our processes to address the issue.”

SK On has since resumed production at its Georgia-based EV battery production plant and noted that the defect that led to the one Ford F-150 Lightning fire was not a fundamental flaw in its design. The supplier has since made changes to its battery cell production line, and the problem is believed to only impact pickups currently at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center – not any units in the hands of customers or dealers.

Meanwhile, the Ford F-150 Lightning is also affected by another issue that prevents the pickup from shifting into drive and can also cause it to gradually lose power while driving. This problem is believed to affect around 100 total vehicles, though it’s possible that more could be impacted as well.

We’ll have more on this issue 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

    OK, but a description from SK On on why this particular crop of batteries was effected and not others would be comforting. What was the “root cause?” What changes to production did SK On previously make that produced these defective batteries? Why did they make those changes? What are the production changes they are making to ensure there are no more spontaneously combusting batteries in the future.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      These would be the standard items contained in an 8D, that, due to the proprietary nature of the info therein, none of which we will ever see. (Sadly).

      As a booby prize, we might comfort ourselves with the fact that a 573 submission (and related documents) covers a decent (though not too technically detailed) discussion of RC and remedial actions.

      Reply
      1. David Dickinson II

        You know I am not buying an EV any time soon but, if I was, I would insist on full transparency regarding why SK On’s batteries blew up for no apparent reason. No disclosure = no sale.

        Reply
        1. David Dickinson II

          Now that I think if it, SK On is becoming Ford’s Firestone tire of the 2020s.

          Reply
          1. RWFA

            Clearly you don’t know what happened in either of the Firestone tire debacles.

            Reply
  2. Mike Klem

    I’m thinking that rather than being a battery issue this may have been an installation issue at the assembly plant. It was most likely determined by SK ON in consultation with Ford that pointing such blame was in neither company’s interest. Therefore the actual issue on this one vehicle may never be revealed.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Cool theory bro except it’s wrong.

      SK On clearly said there was a process issue at their plant that has been fixed.

      From Bloomberg via the Detroit News:

      detroitnews.
      com/story/business/autos/ford/2023/02/27/ford-supplier-says-lightning-battery-defect-not-a-fundamental-issue/69949051007/

      Reply
  3. Bob Dobson

    Let’s be honest, it was human error and not robotic error or it would have affected many more vehicles. The human that made the error probably did something that emabarasses both companies so we won’t ever know exactly what happened. Either at SK in battery assembly or at Ford in truck assembly.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Except the battery company indicated they had a process problem that’s now believed to fixed.

      See the link I posted above for quotes from SK On.

      Ps at the ultimate root cause, robotic error is always human error.

      Reply
  4. Walt

    We saw the new polls about most Americans not wanting EVs, surprised at the high percentage that don’t want them. Even green energy websites are talking about the results. Just Google ‘most Americans don’t want EVs’….ton of articles show it.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      K-street alert. Walt is just amping J(ustfor)D(ummies) by referring to an obsolete biased survey.

      Maybe he could provide a link to the green energy websites.

      His suggested google search takes one to a 1.5year old right wing pollster. LoL there was no Inflation Reduction Act incentives for car purchases, domestic production of vehicles or batteries, no charging build out funding then.

      The K-street clowns would be best to link to an article about how IBM’s founder thought there would be no broad market for computers. It’s a much more interesting topic.

      Reply
  5. RWFA

    We all know Shelly K-street, this handle’s function is to take the pass from an earlier member of the bad faith FUDster tag team troll farm and parlay it for the female demographic.

    Their form today is so bad it’s like they are hardly even trying.

    Reply
  6. RWFA

    Just an update from todays NHTSA recall bulletin:

    Fords explanation provided to NHTSA is below. TL:DR? Battery supplier had a manufacturing defect on one line that produced some batteries that were out of tolerance and had an anode contact a cathode causing a short when battery was nearing full charge. Ford did a CAT scan of the defective battery and could see the difference to unaffected units.

    static.nhtsa.
    gov/odi/rcl/2023/RMISC-23V168-6445.pdf

    Reply

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