Ford Motor Company expects to restart manufacturing of its electrified F-150 Lightning pickup truck on March 13, more than a month after one of the vehicles caught fire due to a battery issue.
The automaker’s manufacturing timeline will allow its battery supplier, SK On, to ramp up production and send battery packs to the Michigan site where the truck is manufactured.
The fire started in a holding lot on February 4 during a pre-delivery quality inspection while the car was charging. Ford halted production and sent a stop-shipment notice to dealers. Ford refused to provide information on the problem that led the vehicle to catch fire or the solution that was implemented.
The company, in a statement said, “In the weeks ahead, we will continue to apply our learnings and work with SK On’s team to ensure we continue delivering high-quality battery packs – down to the battery cells. As REVC ramps up production, we will continue holding already-produced vehicles while we work through engineering and parts updates.”
Ford reported last week that SK had resumed production of battery cells at a Georgia plant, but that the carmaker will extend downtime at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, where the F-150 Lightning is made, until at least this week.
The F-150 Lightning is being eagerly watched by investors because it is the market’s first mainstream electric pickup truck and a significant launch for Ford. The battery issue is in addition to the ongoing “execution issues” highlighted by Ford CEO Jim Farley to investors last month, which harmed the automaker’s fourth-quarter profitability.
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