Ford has extended a production shutdown of its all-electric Ford Lightning pickup truck by another week.
Ford initially paused production and shipments of the Ford Lightning on February due to a potential battery issue and a day after a battery fire. Ford and its battery cell manufacturing partner SK have identified the problem, the automaker told TechCrunch.
Ford said in a statement that it agrees with SK's recommended changes in its equipment and processes for cell production lines.
"SK has started building battery cells again in Commerce, Georgia," Ford said in a statement emailed to TechCrunch. "It will take SK time to ensure they are back to building high-quality cells and to deliver them to the Lightning production line. Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center will suspend production through the end of next week, and we’ll continue to provide updates.”
The company confirmed that during a standard Lightning pre-delivery quality check, one vehicle displayed a battery issue and caught fire on February 4. Production was stopped the following day.
"We have no reason to believe F-150 Lightnings already in customers’ hands are affected by this issue," a company spokesperson said in an email. Ford Lightning vehicles in dealer lots are still for sale, the company confirmed.
The Ford Lightning launched less than a year ago and is being closely watched by shareholders and industry analysts. Ford CEO Jim Farley has admitted that the company has struggled to keep costs in check due to inefficiencies and a number of recalls that have plagued other models. There has only been one recall for the Ford Lightning that was related to a tire pressure sensor. Ford has yet to issue a recall or notice associated with the battery issue identified by engineers.