Ford F-150 Lightning production has been off to an inauspicious start – as an issue involving about 100 pickups currently in customer’s hands preceded an ongoing production stoppage at the Ford River Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. As Ford Authority previously reported, a battery fire involving a pickup parked at the plant prompted the automaker to pause operations until it could figure out the problem. Now, according to CNBC, the plant will suspend production for another seven days, but the issue has apparently been solved.
According to a statement the publication obtained from Ford, battery supplier SK On suspended operations at its Atlanta, Georgia facility to make changes to its production line in light of the fire and will start shipping batteries soon. “The teams worked quickly to identify the root cause of the issue,” Ford said in a statement Friday. “We agree with SK’s recommended changes in their equipment and processes for SK’s cell production lines.” Ford also said that the it believes issue only impacts pickups currently at the plant and that no Lightning EVs at dealers or delivered to customers are impacted. The fire occurred on February 4th while the pickup was charging, although the automaker said that it was not caused by a charging fault.
The statement clarifies that the issue that caused the fire was not due to an assembly mishap but as a result of its construction, which had not been disclosed previously. SK On is presently a major partner for The Blue Oval and a major member of its EV battery master plan, as the manufacturer of the Lightning’s standard and extended range NCM batteries.
The Ford F-150 Lightning production pause is happening at the same time a software issue is currently impacting production of the 2023 Ford Escape and 2023 Lincoln Corsair, which prompted The Blue Oval to suspend operations at the Louisville Assembly plant through early March. Ford CEO Jim Farley has said quality is a major issue for the company and that fixes are being implemented to address longstanding problems.