Ford halts F-150 Lightning production due to possible battery issue

Ford workers produce the electric F-150 Lightning pickup on Dec. 13, 2022 at the automaker’s Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center (REVC).

Michael Wayland | CNBC

DETROIT – Ford Motor has paused production and shipments of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup due to a potential battery issue, the company said Tuesday.

Ford spokeswoman Emma Bergg declined to disclose details of the possible battery issue, which is being investigated after a vehicle displayed a potential problem as part of the automaker’s pre-delivery quality inspections.

The stop-shipment order and halt in production was issued at the beginning of last week, according to Bergg. It adds to ongoing “execution issues” detailed to investors earlier this month by Ford CEO Jim Farley.

Ford has not established a timeline for when production and the shipments will resume, Bergg said.

“The team is diligently working on the root cause analysis,” Bergg said, adding the company is “doing the right thing by our customers” to resolve any potential issues before resuming production and shipments.

Bergg said the company is unaware of any incidents or issues associated with the potential battery issue. There is no stop-sale for vehicles already on dealer lots, meaning dealers can continue to sell vehicles they already have on hand.

The halt in production and shipments was first reported Tuesday by Motor Authority.

The F-150 Lightning is being closely watched by investors, as it’s the first mainstream electric pickup truck on the market and a major launch for Ford.

Automakers routinely have issues and recalls associated with vehicles but problems with batteries are of particular concern and interest, as the automakers invest billions of dollars in the vehicles.

One of the most notable issues has been with General Motors’ Chevrolet Bolt EVs. The Detroit automaker had to recall all of the vehicles built starting two years ago to address fire issues caused by “rare manufacturing defects” at facilities of its battery supplier LG Battery Solution.

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