Ford halts production and shipments of electric F-150 Lightning over battery concerns

Ford paused the F-150 Lightning’s production and shipments due to a potential battery issue, a stoppage that has now been extended and could last a few weeks.

The stoppage started at the beginning of last week. Ford provided an update Wednesday, stating that production would be suspended at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center through at least the end of the week.

Ford said the initial stoppage occurred after a vehicle failed a post-production quality control test. The company tells TechCrunch it is unaware of any incidences of this issue in the field. As a result, dealers can still sell Lightning models on the lot.

Ford said Wednesday engineers have identified the root cause of this issue. By the end of next week, the company expects to conclude its investigation and apply what it learn to the truck’s battery production process.

This could take a few weeks, company spokesperson Emma Bergg said in an emailed statement.

Ford said it will continue holding already-produced vehicles while it works through engineering and process updates.

Since launching the vehicle less than a year ago, Ford has only issued one recall for the vehicle, and it was related to a tire pressure sensor. Ford has yet to issue a recall or notice associated with this instance.

This manufacturing pause comes as Ford is ramping up production of the Lightning. Ford said previously it intended to make 150,000 Lightning models by the end of 2023. Ford reported it shipped 13,258 Lightning models in 2022.

The F-150 Lightning is leading the market in the growing EV pickup war. Cross-town rival General Motors released its first EV pickup, the high-end Hummer EV, around the same time as the F-150 Lightning, but it is being manufactured at a much slower pace. GM’s mass-market Silverado EV is scheduled for a public release in the 2024 model year. RAM just revealed its production-bound RAM 1500 REV, which is expected for the 2025 model year. The Rivian R1T also launched in 2022 as the upstart company spun up its limited production. As for the Tesla Cybertruck? Ask Elon. It’s MIA, though Tesla will still take $100 for a reservation.

This story has been updated to include new statements from Ford and information that it intends to extend the production stoppage.