There's still no word on when deliveries will recommence.
Production of the Ford F-150 Lightning will resume on March 13, reports Reuters, after a battery fire in February forced the company to temporarily pause assembly lines.
The Dearborn-based automaker has not specified when deliveries will recommence but said that as it "ramps up production, we will continue holding already-produced vehicles while we work through engineering and parts updates."
Ford says the chosen date will allow the SK On battery cells to be built and delivered to the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center timeously.
"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," added the carmaker.
Production was planned to resume in the week of March 6, but it looks like Ford is taking its time with the problem. "It will take SK time to ensure they are back to building high-quality cells and to deliver them to the Lightning production line," said the automaker at the time.
Initially, Ford gave no reason for the production stoppage, citing battery issues as a concern. Mere days later, the company confirmed a fire had occurred during a routine vehicle inspection and spread to nearby vehicles. The Blue Oval said it believed to have traced the problem and stated it was not aware of any issues in Lightnings that had already been delivered.
The F-150 Lightning remains a hugely popular product for Ford, so a production pause of any kind is catastrophic. Thankfully, existing inventory and vehicles delivered prior to the issue have been cleared for sale, so it's still possible for customers to get their hands on an example.
It's not a good look for the automaker though. In 2022, Ford had more recalls than any other car company and these quality issues have not gone unnoticed. Following a fairly mediocre financial year, Ford CEO Jim Farley admitted that the company has deeply entrenched issues, while CFO John Lawler said the automaker needs to "improve quality and lower costs now."
It's good to see Ford is taking its time with this problem and not rushing the vehicle down the production line. While electric vehicles are statistically less likely to catch on fire than their ICE counterparts, EVs are burdened with an unearned reputation for battery fires.
All of this hampers electric vehicle adoption, a shared goal between many automakers and governments. By taking the time to make sure the problem is dealt with, Ford may be losing production time, but it is preventing bigger issues - like reputation-ruining recalls - from cropping up further down the line.
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