Ford has confirmed production of its electric Ford F-150 Lightning truck will resume today, after it stopped producing the in-demand vehicle after one caught fire at the company’s production facility on February 4.
At the time, Ford put an immediate stop to manufacturing while it began an investigation into the root cause of the battery fire.
The company’s battery supplier, South Korean brand SK, has since said it was a rare occurence and not a design flaw, which Ford has today confirmed in its own statement.
“On Feb. 4, during a standard quality check, one vehicle displayed a battery issue and caught fire. The root cause identified was related to battery cell production at the SK On plant in Georgia,” the brand said in a statement.
“Ford is not aware of any reports of accident or injury related to this recall. Together with SK On, we have confirmed the root causes and have implemented quality actions. Production is on track to resume Monday with clean stock of battery packs.”
As part of the rectification process, the 18 other Ford F-150 Lightnings built with the batch of batteries identified to have a potential issue and delivered to customers have been recalled to have their battery pack replaced.
“Ford is recalling 18 F-150 Lightnings due to a battery cell manufacturing defect, which occurred over a four-week period starting at the end of last year. We recently established that 18 vehicles containing cells from that four-week period had made it to dealers and customers.”
The fire incident seems to have done little to hinder customer appetite, with the current wait times pointing to massive order lists. The limited supply and high demand issue goes back to the vehicle’s launch in 2021.
Ford was forced to close its order books in December 2021, before production had even started, and in 2022 announced plans to double its production output in an attempt to get cars to customers sooner.
The Ford USA website now says this 2023 model year is no longer available to order.
The Blue Oval has now invested more than $US1 billion ($A1.44 billion) in Michigan for the F-150 Lightning alone, with 1700 jobs created across five plants.
It’s unclear if the F-150 Lightning will be coming Down Under, but Ford Australia has previously said it’s bringing at least five electrified vehicles by 2024. It’s also bringing the petrol-powered F-150 to market in 2023.
Given the massive North American demand for the F-150 Lightning, don’t expect it to come here any time soon.
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