Report: Some F-150 Lightning Trucks May Experience Battery Problems

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

And they’re not related to the fire which we reported last week. This quality issue, reported by CNBC and other outlets within the last 24 hours, is related to “performance degradation”. In fact, about 100 owners were apparently asked a week before the fire to have their vehicles serviced for a separate issue.

What’s the problem? It seems the battery in a small group of Lightning pickups needs unspecified parts replaced in order to “prevent performance degradation” of the truck’s enormous battery pack. It isn’t detailed if this proactive customer service action is limited to the short- or long-range battery, nor if the parts are easy to obtain or quick to install.

As a slightly terrifying footnote, Ford is reported to have indicated they’re keeping a remote eye on the problem, monitoring vehicles it believes to be impacted by this issue and pre-emptively contacting owners if they spot the problem for which they are looking. This should remind us all that technology, especially connected technology like over-the-air updates and the like, is definitely a two-way street.

All this comes amid a push for increased quality at the Blue Oval, with head honcho Jim Farley lamenting on a recent earnings call with investors about such issues. Indeed, it is widely known that Farley got the top job in 2020 as part of a broader program to right the ship in terms of quality. But it takes a minute to turn the Titanic, a reality Farley mentioned on that call by saying "Ford has been the number one in recalls in the U.S. for the last two years." Oof. We will note that while those might be harsh words, it is miles better than a top suit who’s content to stick their head in the sand and collect a paycheck.

Building cars is hard, to put it mildly, explaining why there are scads of recalls or technical service bulletins, or customer service actions issued every year in the American market. Still, to say Ford has a lot riding on the Lightning is putting it mildly, to say nothing of how closely Wall Street is watching to see how this thing performs in the long run. In total, Ford says they sold 15,617 F-150 Lightning trucks in 2022 after launching the truck in May of that year.

[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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  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Feb 22, 2023

    Does "some" really mean "all"?

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Feb 22, 2023

      Gotta wonder. I'll bet someone is feverishly checking on that, hoping they don't have to tell Mr Farley more bad news.

  • Islander800 Islander800 on Feb 22, 2023

    This all gives me pause about jumping into a new EV. Lithium Ion batteries, the basis of all EVs (and everything else today!) are inherently ticking fire time bombs IF they are not manufactured to the most stringent quality control standards. Even then, it's been determined that the chemistry of their "wet cell" design could result in internal chemical reactions that could seriously degrade their performance over time, regardless of use, well before their advertised life expectancies. Coming soon out of laboratories and into mass production are sold-state batteries that do away with all the "negatives" of LI batteries.

    All to say, I won't be rushing into a new EV anytime soon. I'll wait for the post-2024 solid state battery evolution before making the move - and stick with my now-19-year-old Honda Element that, with regular maintenance on the West Coast, is still going strong and drives like a 4-year-old vehicle...

  • Golden2husky Have to say he did an excellent job on the C7, especially considering the limited budget he was given. I am very happy with my purchase.
  • Marty The problem isn't range; it's lack of electricity in multi-unit building parking. All you need is level 1 - a standard 120v wall socket - and if you're plugged in 10 hours overnight you get 280 miles per week or more. That's enough for most folks but you can use public charging to supplement when needed. Installing conduit circuits and outlets is simple and cheap; no charge stations needed.
  • 2manyvettes Tadge was at the Corvette Corral at the Rolex 24 hour sports car race at the end of January 2023. During the Q&A after his remarks someone stood up and told him "I will never buy an electric Corvette." His response? "I will never sell you an electric Corvette." Take that Fwiw.
  • Socrates77 They're pinching pennies for the investors like always, greed has turned GM into a joke of an old corporate American greed.
  • Analoggrotto looking at this takes me right back to the year when “CD-ROM” first entered public lexicon