Ford Prolongs Pause on F-150 Lightning Assembly

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Continuing the saga of hiccups with what is arguably Ford’s most important product in decades, Blue Oval suits are pulling the trigger on prolonging production downtime for one extra week in the wake of a battery fire earlier this year.

As per reports from those in the know at Automotive News, the all-electric Lightning will not resume production for another week whilst the battery supplier, SK On, gets their poop in a group and ensures they are building battery cells fitting the parameter of Ford – which presumably include not igniting at random. According to AN, spox from the company said teams worked to identify the root cause and recommended manufacturing changes on which the Blue Oval agreed. 

Presumably, this extra week’s pause is to give SK On time to make a few dry runs with these new processes in place, making sure everything goes as planned and these changes do not have any adverse side effects. Ford said the existing stop-ship decree will extend for an extra week as well. Readers who perused articles of this ilk in the last few days may recall other elements of this story, including the apparent tiff between Ford and SK over how much access the former should have to the latter’s production line. If changes to production have been made and agreed upon, we can infer that the lover’s quarrel was settled – at least to a degree. 

There’s no official word about what specific problem has befallen these batteries, nor is any explanation expected. One openly wonders about the health of batteries in Lightnings which have already been built; if the issue was significant enough to warrant a change on the production line, what about the unit which have been installed in the however-many thousand Lightnings which are already either on the road or on dealer lots?

Through to the end of 2022, Ford delivered 15,617 F-150 Lightnings after its launch in May of that year. To say it is America’s “best-selling electric truck” is absolutely true but also a title they earned by being one of the first to market. Rivian et al won’t surpass Ford’s numbers for EV trucks in terms of sales, GM’s twins have yet to hit the floor, and Ram won’t appear with their rig until the end of – ahem – 2024. All told, Ford sold 61,575 electric vehicles last year (over double than in 2021) comprised of the Lightnings, roughly 39.5k Mach-E SUVs, and 6.5k e-Transit vans.

[Image: Ford]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • Cprescott Cprescott on Feb 27, 2023

    Apparently there was a battery fire on the assembly line that consumed a Lightning and another before things were brought under control.....

  • El scotto El scotto on Feb 27, 2023

    Ford's CEO has divided the company into two competing divisions, EV vs ICE. Both are failing miserably. Time for a Ford deathwatch?

    Disclosure time: I bought a few thousand shares of Ford when it was two bucks and some change. All Ford has to do is make F-150's and Mustangs and keep the wheelbarrows headed to the bank. Right??

    It seems all Ford wants to do is sell the most expensive trucks they can for as long as they can. This will probably end up as text book example of excessive corporate greed. This will fail miserably. The 80K truck market isn't that large and it's already full.

    Will members of the extended Ford family start dumping their class B stocks?

  • Bkojote Allright, actual person who knows trucks here, the article gets it a bit wrong.First off, the Maverick is not at all comparable to a Tacoma just because they're both Hybrids. Or lemme be blunt, the butch-est non-hybrid Maverick Tremor is suitable for 2/10 difficulty trails, a Trailhunter is for about 5/10 or maybe 6/10, just about the upper end of any stock vehicle you're buying from the factory. Aside from a Sasquatch Bronco or Rubicon Jeep Wrangler you're looking at something you're towing back if you want more capability (or perhaps something you /wish/ you were towing back.)Now, where the real world difference should play out is on the trail, where a lot of low speed crawling usually saps efficiency, especially when loaded to the gills. Real world MPG from a 4Runner is about 12-13mpg, So if this loaded-with-overlander-catalog Trailhunter is still pulling in the 20's - or even 18-19, that's a massive improvement.
  • Lou_BC "That’s expensive for a midsize pickup" All of the "offroad" midsize trucks fall in that 65k USD range. The ZR2 is probably the cheapest ( without Bison option).
  • Lou_BC There are a few in my town. They come out on sunny days. I'd rather spend $29k on a square body Chevy
  • Lou_BC I had a 2010 Ford F150 and 2010 Toyota Sienna. The F150 went through 3 sets of brakes and Sienna 2 sets. Similar mileage and 10 year span.4 sets tires on F150. Truck needed a set of rear shocks and front axle seals. The solenoid in the T-case was replaced under warranty. I replaced a "blend door motor" on heater. Sienna needed a water pump and heater blower both on warranty. One TSB then recall on spare tire cable. Has a limp mode due to an engine sensor failure. At 11 years old I had to replace clutch pack in rear diff F150. My ZR2 diesel at 55,000 km. Needs new tires. Duratrac's worn and chewed up. Needed front end alignment (1st time ever on any truck I've owned).Rear brakes worn out. Left pads were to metal. Chevy rear brakes don't like offroad. Weird "inside out" dents in a few spots rear fenders. Typically GM can't really build an offroad truck issue. They won't warranty. Has fender-well liners. Tore off one rear shock protector. Was cheaper to order from GM warehouse through parts supplier than through Chevy dealer. Lots of squeaks and rattles. Infotainment has crashed a few times. Seat heater modual was on recall. One of those post sale retrofit.Local dealer is horrific. If my son can't service or repair it, I'll drive 120 km to the next town. 1st and last Chevy. Love the drivetrain and suspension. Fit and finish mediocre. Dealer sucks.
  • MaintenanceCosts You expect everything on Amazon and eBay to be fake, but it's a shame to see fake stuff on Summit Racing. Glad they pulled it.