Ford Prolongs Pause on F-150 Lightning Assembly

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

ford prolongs pause on f 150 lightning assembly

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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4 of 50 comments
  • 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?

  • Kcflyer Nice looking ride
  • Kcflyer If it was as likely to be reliable as the Lexus LS I would look to pick up a used low mileage unit someday. But I would not trust this to be long term reasonable to own.
  • Analoggrotto If it's not a TESLA, dont bother trying to charge it. Don't even bother with it.
  • ScarecrowRepair How much is the $ub$cription for those facing seats? How much extra to have both face backwards, or to have a button to switch the facing-in seats to face outwards when the kids' arguments get too distracting? Is there an option to be sideways facing each other?
  • Deanst We seemed to have passed peak Hyundai/Kia design appeal. There is nothing clever or appealing to the exterior - the eye is drawn to awkward and inconsistent treatments. The interior - which I’m sure has decent materials - seems to be something that might excite Lee Iacocca’s grandson. In the meantime, I question the sanity of anyone buying a $20,000 H/K vehicle with a 2 litre engine.