Some buyers are going to have to wait.
Ford spokesperson Emma Bergg confirmed to Motor Authority that the automaker has stopped production and deliveries of the F-150 Lightning due to a potential battery problem. The stop-build and an in-transit stop-ship order were sent out after pre-delivery quality inspections identified a potential problem. Bergg, however, wouldn't reveal what the potential issue is. However, a stop-sale hasn't been issued to dealerships, so F-150 Lightnings that have already been built are cleared for delivery.
The problem has only just been identified, so there's no clear timeline for the electric truck to get back into production. "It depends on how long it will take to conduct the root cause analysis," Bergg said.
Nobody is aware of any incidents or issues associated with the mysterious problem, but as existing F-150 Lightning trucks scheduled for delivery are going to customers, we would assume there's no fire risk, although the trucks may be recalled later for a fix.
Given the spotlight on electric vehicle battery problems, most notably the Chevrolet Bolt, and concerns over battery fires, it seems prudent for Ford to be cautious with any potential issues. As Ford has been the leader in the US truck market and the F-150 has been the best-selling truck in America for over 40 years and is currently the best-selling vehicle overall, it can't afford to risk its reputation with a problematic version.
The F-150 Lightning proved so popular with its release in 2022 that Ford had to increase production at the Rouge assembly plant near Detroit, Michigan. The automaker added a third shift and 250 employees to keep up with demand. Ford was expecting a full production run of 150,000 units by the fall of this year.
The F-150 Lightning has also had three price hikes since its launch. It started off at $41,669 but now begins at $57,869 - an increase of $16,200. However, it's still the cheapest all-electric truck on the market, as the Rivian R1T starts at $79,500.
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