As Ford Authority reported earlier this week, Ford F-150 Lightning production at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is currently paused due to a battery issue that was discovered when one truck sitting in a holding lot suddenly caught on fire. 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 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reportedly communicating with The Blue Oval regarding this Ford F-150 Lightning battery issue, according to Reuters.
No other details on this communication are currently available, and Ford hasn’t commented on the matter. However, the automaker previously said that EV pickups already on dealer lots and in customer possession are not affected by this issue, and it expects to conclude its investigation into the matter by the end of next week. After that, it will take “a few weeks” to make changes to the production process to implement some changes.
The battery issue that caused this fire is directly related to the battery itself – not the assembly process, according to Ford. The Lightning’s batteries are produced by supplier SK On at its plant in Atlanta and then assembled at the Ford Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Ford engineers are currently working with SK to resolve the issue.
While the fire only affected one F-150 Lightning pickup, it did spread to another vehicle that was parked next to it on the pre-delivery inspection lot, which is used to store vehicles that are awaiting quality reviews before being 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.
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