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Ford Claims To Have Found Hardware Issue That Has Idled Lightning Production

In a shocking move, Ford has halted the production of its mega-popular F-150 Lightning EV pickup for at least the next week. Ford, though, says it has found the problem, although it has not publicly identified it.
Posted: February 16, 2023 - 12:48PM
Author: Marc Stern

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With Ford’s F-150 Lightning EV production at a standstill until at least the end of next week. it seems as if the automaker has discovered the problem that has forced the Blue Oval to halt production of its mega-popular Lightning EV pickup. Deliveries of already-assembled vehicles have also been suspended.

Ford announced the shutdown a couple of days ago following reports of a vehicle fire involving an F-150 Lightning during a prequality at a nearby parking lot that spread to a second vehicle, according to the Detroit Free Press. The issue caused the automaker to issue a production halt that will idle the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, where the Lighting is assembled, for another week. The holding lot where the fire occurred is in Dearborn, Mich. The incident also occurred last week.

Engineers Find Root Of The Problem

According to the automaker, Ford’s inspection team of engineers has likely found the root of the problem. The team believes the fix will take some weeks until it is in place, a spokesperson told Electrek. The spokesman didn’t identify the problem but did say there is “’ no reason to believe F-150 Lightnings already in customers’ hands are affected by this issue.’” If a dealer has a Lightning in stock, the pickup can be sold.

The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn employs 750 people. Ford laid off the workers during the shutdown. According to the Detroit Free Press, hourly workers have been placed on layoff by Ford while the problem is addressed. They will receive about 75 percent of their pre-tax pay while the plant is shut down.

Meanwhile, the automaker had more bad news this week as production for its popular Escape crossover has also been halted. According to Ford, the problem has to do with a software problem that is impacting the Escape. The 3,800 workers will receive earnings while the Louisville, Kentucky, truck plant is idled.

Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent many misspent hours hanging out at gas stations (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper "You Auto Know," an enterprise I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my earnings while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.

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