- Ford Motor plans to restart production of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup on March 13.
- A month ago, a battery problem caused one of the vehicles to catch fire.
- Ford declined to release details of the issue that caused the vehicle to burn or the solution implemented.
Ford employees produce the F-150 Lightning electric pickup on Dec. 13, 2022 at the automaker’s Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center (REVC).
Michael Wayland | CNBC
DETROIT — Ford Motor plans to restart production of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup on March 13 — more than a month after a battery problem caused one of the vehicles to catch fire.
The automaker told CNBC on Thursday that the production schedule will allow its battery supplier, SK On, to ramp up production and deliver batteries to the Michigan plant where the truck is produced.
The fire occurred on February 4 in a waiting lot during a pre-delivery quality check while the vehicle was under load. Ford suspended production of the vehicles and issued a shipping stop to dealers. Ford declined to release details of the issue that caused the vehicle to burn or the solution implemented. The company previously said engineers determined there was no evidence of a charging fault.
“In the coming weeks, we will continue to apply our knowledge and work with the team at SK On to ensure that we continue to deliver high quality batteries – right down to the battery cells. As we go As REVC ramps up production, we will continue to retain previously produced vehicles while we work on engineering and parts updates,” Ford said in a statement to CNBC.
Ford announced last week that SK had resumed building battery cells at a plant in Georgia, but said the automaker would extend downtime at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center (REVC), where the F-150 Lightning is built, until at least this week.
The F-150 Lightning is being watched closely by investors as it is the first consumer electric pickup truck on the market and a major launch for Ford. The battery issue comes on top of ongoing “execution issues” detailed to investors last month by Ford CEO Jim Farley that crippled the automaker’s fourth-quarter earnings.
Ford originally opened customer reservations for the F-150 Lightning when it was revealed in May 2021. More than 200,000 reservations were placed before Ford temporarily closed the process in an attempt to align production with expected demand. .
Many reservation owners are still waiting for their vehicles, as Ford said earlier Thursday it has sold less than 20,000 all-electric trucks since they went on sale last year.