Ford Suspends Production of F-150 Lightning EV for Additional Week After Battery Fire

Ford Suspends Production of F-150 Lightning EV for Additional Week After Battery Fire

Ford Motor Co. will halt on F-150 Lightning production until the end of next week following a battery problem that caused an EV truck to catch fire during a pre-delivery check, the company said on Friday.

“The teams worked quickly to identify the root cause of the issue,” Ford spokesperson Emma Bergg said in a statement Friday.

“We agree with SK On’s recommended changes in their equipment and processes for SK’s cell production lines.”

SK On, a South Korean EV battery maker and supplier, has started building battery cells again at a plant in Georgia.

However, it will take time “to ensure they are back to building high-quality cells and to deliver them to the Lightning production line.”

Ford will continue to hold completed trucks until engineering and production changes are made.

The company said it does not believe vehicles already in use by customers are affected by the fire issue.

Ford previously said that production at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan would be postponed until at least the end of this week as engineers identified the root cause of the battery problem.

Epoch Times Photo
The Ford F-150 Lightning displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show in Philadelphia on Jan. 27, 2023. (Matt Rourke/File/AP Photo)

Battery Fire

The Feb. 4 fire happened at an outdoor lot near Dearborn, Michigan where vehicles are held for quality checks.

One Lightning caught fire and spread to two nearby vehicles, causing the company to halt production the next day. No injuries were reported.

The production halt comes at an inopportune time for Ford, which has struggled with quality issues, recalls, and high warranty costs for several years. The problem also stops the production of a popular product.

Bergg previously said the company is still working through a backlog of nearly 200,000 reservations for the F-150 Lightning since it stopped taking them in December 2021. Reservation holders put down $100 deposits, which Ford was converting to orders.

Last year, Ford sold more than 15,000 of the trucks in its first full year of production.

There have been previous problems with the lithium-ion batteries used in most electric vehicles. Fires in the batteries can burn very hot and take thousands of gallons of water to extinguish, which has caused difficulty for firefighters attempting to put out battery fires in several Teslas after crashes. General Motors, Hyundai, BMW, and others have issued recalls of the batteries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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