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Production halt on Ford’s electric F-150 Lightning will last at least a week and half

<i>Ford</i><br/>Ford uses Robotic Autonomous Guided Vehicles to move F-150 Lightning trucks from workstation to station.
Ford uses Robotic Autonomous Guided Vehicles to move F-150 Lightning trucks from workstation to station.

By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN

Ford recently stopped production on the electric F-150 Lightning pickup because of a possible battery problem. A Ford spokesperson now says a return to production “could take a few weeks.”

The potential issue was discovered during the automaker’s pre-delivery vehicle inspections, Ford spokesperson Emma Berg said in an emailed statement.

“We believe we have identified the root cause of this issue. By the end of next week, we expect to conclude our investigation and apply what we learn to the truck’s battery production process,” Berg said. “This could take a few weeks.”

Ford did not provide any information about what the battery-related issue might be, its possible cause or potential consequences. The pause in production and delivery does not apply to trucks that are already at dealerships or to trucks already with customers. No issues have been reported with trucks that are already in customer hands, Berg said.

Ford has sold 18,000 Lightning pickups since production started in the spring of 2022.

Currently the best-seller in the category, the Lightning will face intense competition later this year when GM begins production of the Chevrolet Silverado EV. That truck will be joined early next year by GM’s GMC Sierra EV. Tesla has said its Cybertruck will begin full production in 2024, following a number of delays. Stellantis is also supposed to begin production of the Ram 1500 Rev later next year, as well.

Last year, Ford created two separate business units within the company, one for internal combustion-powered vehicles called Ford Blue, and the other for electric vehicles called Ford Model E. The electric F-150 Lightning truck is built at a factory near Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, outside Detroit.

The automaker has been investing heavily in battery production and recently announced a $3.5 billion investment in a new battery plant in Michigan that is supposed to begin production in 2026. The automaker is also building production facilities in Kentucky and Tennessee to build electric vehicle batteries and electric trucks.

Ford also recently announced it was cutting 11% of its workforce in Europe in part to prepare for the shift to electric vehicles there.

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