Ford Authority

Ford Louisville Assembly Plant Under Total Production Shutdown

As Ford Authority reported last week, Ford Escape production at the Ford Louisville Assembly plant is currently on hold due to a software issue with the refreshed crossover. That pause was extended through this week, though the automaker has thus far declined to provide additional details surrounding the matter. Now, however, the Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Ford Louisville Assembly plant is under a total production shutdown, though this is part of a new procedure, it seems.

“This is somewhat of a different approach,” said Todd Dunn, president of UAW Local 862, which represents union workers at Ford’s Louisville-based plants. “We were somewhat surprised over prior launch stoppages that have been spread out.” In the past, Ford would “build product and fix (it) in the yard and various locations around Louisville,” he said. “We were surprised that Ford would take this approach, however it is an approach that can work.”

In this case, it seems as if the software issues were discovered in pre-production 2023 Escape models, which is what prompted the shutdown while the automaker works to sort them out. “You build the vehicle, you understand that there are issues, and you continue doing that until … you start producing them for customers,” said Maria Buczkowski, a quality control spokesperson at Ford. “The majority of the vehicles that have been built are Ford employees’ vehicles. No vehicles will be shipped until they’ve been put through a rigorous quality inspection,” added Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker.

The purpose of this process is to identify and correct issues before new vehicles wind up in customers’ hands. “What we’re doing right now is de-risking the launch process and making sure we have the best launch we can have,” Buczkowski said. “Because launch is really, really the most important part. If you don’t have everything fixed by then you’re going to end up having issues in the long run.”

We’ll have more on this production shutdown soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Escape 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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  1. cj

    That a step in right direction….Problems fixed before they go out the door…..

  2. Murray Henley

    What is most surprising is that the 2023 Escape is not an all-new vehicle, but a mid-cycle refresh. Yes, it has been update to Sync 4, but Sync 4 is already in use in other Ford vehicles.

    Something more must be going on.

    1. EcoBoost29579

      Agree. Happy they’re doing it, but it’s just a refresh.

    2. Nunjjn

      You are assuming Sync4 is the problem…

      New cars are full of computers and modules – the issue they found is probably within one of these many modules: PCM, BCM, ECM, etc etc…everything is tight integrated, so if there’s a bug between the diff integrations and sensors, dear gosh….it could take a long time to figure things out.

    3. Chaddy

      The 360 deg camera is an all new system for the 23 Escape. Maybe they are having issues with this system, sync 4 and all the other computer systems “talking” like nunjjn mentioned. Also as a side note, Youtuber and Ford dealer Long McArthur has been said on a few of their videos that the front camera have been in short supply for the Edge and Explorer. This could be affecting the Escape too? Who knows, but I’m glad they are getting these problems fixed now vs early orders being plagued with frequent dealer trips.

  3. David Dickinson II

    It seems Ford is finally taking quality more seriously, now that they have been beaten over the head with an embarrassing list of failures.

    1. Edward

      Yet the 2022-23 Lincoln Corsair, built on this same assembly line, is one of Consumer Reports Top 10 recommended most reliable vehicles. I know our ’22 Corsair GT has been exceptionally good so far.

    2. Shelby Gt500

      Why isn’t GM or Dodge shutting down then. So far GM has the record of most recalls ever in America and they still continue to have recalls. Now Dodges after so long catch on fire or transmission blows way before 100k miles. Why won’t they do the same thing shut down. They are starting to have crap load of recalls. Last note Ford has had many vehicles unlike GM and Dodge in TOP 10 for safety and reliability. F serious has been number 1 46yrs in a roll and long lasting on the road’s. Toyota is slightly having recalls along with Nissan. Honda still keeps having recalls. Kia and Hyundai not so much except easiest vehicles to steal.

  4. Shockandawe

    I guess this plant will never open again!

    1. Mrx19

      Don’t think it’s a plant issue. The vehicle, I own, that was built there has been exceptional.

  5. Richard

    Not releasing vehicles until all of the quality issues are resolved. Ford has only been building vehicles since 1903. What a concept.

    1. Andy

      My 2018 Ford Escape SE has had repairs $$ almost equal to the cost of the car when purchased new. I’m fighting with them over the bill of a new engine I had to have put in where they declined the powertrain warranty. Ford needs to stand behind cars they have built in the past, and not just worry about the new ones.. I’m in fight with them now;

  6. Daniel Boris

    It’s about time they started taking quality seriously again. I’ve been a Ford owner for over 33 years now and my latest vehicle sure tells me that quality isn’t Job #1 anymore. This was quite honestly going to be my last Ford vehicle ever, the problems are that bad.

  7. MJ

    No production in over 2 months. They have no idea how to make a vehicle anymore. My 2023 Escape and Corsair I have on order will not be build till this summer, so I will pass as who want a new 2023 model just before the 2024 models come out. Just cancel all production and sell the plant since they can’t figure out how to build a refreshed model?
    How will they retain any customer that has to wait 6-12 months for a vehicle order ??Going today to see a 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe hybrid. After retiring from Ford in 2018, never buying a Ford again. Hope they get bought out by an automaker that knows what their are doing. Nobody had any confidence that Ford will survive . Maybe only a niche small OEM making overpriced ugly truck perhaps?

    1. Lincoln Fan Mark

      Yep, it’s very sad. I had a ’22 Corsair loaner from the dealer during a recent service visit. Terrific vehicle so I went online to see what might be available in a ’23 model. I think I found two within a hundred miles and have no confidence either was even built or delivered to dealers yet. How can a company sustain brand loyalty without product to deliver in a reasonable time frame? Other domestic brands have products to sell; Ford Motor Company has problems and it appears to start at the top.

      1. ArtG

        I have a Corsair loaner as we speak. I don’t care for it at all, but I’m a hard-core sedan guy. I neither need nor want an SUV/CUV. It can’t hold a candle to my MKZ 3.0TT. That said, they have no 2023 Corsairs in stock. When you search their inventory, it shows 5 “in transit.” Another local dealer, however, shows 9 in stock. In skeptical of that.

  8. Mike says...

    Did you guys read the article…..5 paragraphs of ‘wash, spin and dry’. Who, what and where is the vehicle software testing done… and what has been changed, fixed or recalibrated before the assembly line starts a build. Shutting down a production line is ‘not an over the air fix’… come clean Ford…. your reply is ‘not an answer’ we haven’t heard many times before.

  9. Kevin McCabe

    Ford has a decades long history of taking shortcuts on their product development validation and certification. So this latest stoppage should be no surprise to anyone. Until Ford decides to stick to the procedures they already have in place and follow them to the letter, this scenario is just going to play over and over and over. Bill Ford needs to face the fact that his new CEO is not the answer to his comapny’s problems.

  10. Richard Fekete

    I have a 2020 Escape Hybrid that the dealer can’t fix. Who do I contact?

    1. Cigna

      Your state’s Attorney General, have a lawyer sent them a letter specifically detailed the problems that Ford cannot or will not fix. Also checl your state’s Lemon Law.

  11. D FERG

    I ordered a 23 Escape PHEV in Nov and have not been kept in the loop by Ford or dealership. Thanks for posting the delay info. If this continues I may cancel.

  12. Marco Navarro

    I have been waiting for my 23 Escape since October 27 ☹️

    1. Sean W

      Mine has been on order since 9/30/23. This is ridiculous! I might be one of the biggest Ford man on the planet but they are making in harder and harder for me to buy a vehicle from them! We are talking about an average SUV here – not a specialty car. It should not take 6 months to come in. I don’t think the other manufacturers are having this trouble.

  13. Andy

    The repairs $$ , rental bills, …on my 2018 Ford Escape SE is near equal to the cost of the car when purchased new. New engine, new transmission, new turbo seals, 3X fuel pumps, and on and on. I was told the engine was a defective design by Ford , and mine failed. They declined my powertrain warranty. I am now fighting Ford to pay the full bill. Never again.

    1. RWFA

      How many miles on clock?

  14. Dwayne McMillan

    It’s about time, to many gadgets to talk together. Throwing vehicles to gather to get them out the door to show key production output but only to recall by doing a wam bam rush, lets get it out the door but then spend more to fix the unknowns. I love fords, I depond on my rides without fear. But these day I’m scared to buy anything above 2000 models for all the new electronics gadgets.

    1. RWFA

      I didn’t do the granular research by year, but if we say that average annual new car sales in the USA were about 12 million per year times 20 years, we get something like a quarter billion new cars sold in the USA after 2000.

      The roads are not littered with broken cars, you should get a grip on your fear.

  15. Joe Gibson

    I’ve had 2 escapes so far. Both went 360,000 miles. My ’09 was one of the best cars I ever owned. 365k before I had to put any $$ other than regular maintenance. Got rid of it at 390k miles my ’14 went through 3 transmissions. But lasted 360,00 miles. Have a 22 ranger now. So far best truck I’ve had. Average 31mpg hiway and it’s pretty rugged. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  16. Jerry

    It’s about time Ford takes the Quality, not Quantity approach instead of the other way around.

    1. RWFA

      LoL. What are you even talking about?

      Literally nobody has accused Ford of even being able to take the quantity approach for the last several years.


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