Ford CEO Jim Farley announced at a press conference that Ford Motor Company will partner with the world’s largest battery company, China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology, to create an electric vehicle battery plant in Marshall, Michigan on February 13. 2023 in Romulus, Michigan.
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DETROIT — Ford Motor is suspending production of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck for another week after a battery problem resulted in one of burning vehicles earlier this month.
Ford said on Friday that its battery supplier, SK, has started making battery cells again at a factory in Georgia, but it will take time “to ensure that they are back to making high-quality cells and supplying them to the Lightning production line.”
“Teams worked quickly to identify the root cause of the problem,” Ford said in a statement Friday. “We agree with SK’s recommended changes to their equipment and processes for SK’s production lines.”
Ford said last week that it expects Lightning production to be at least this week, as determined by engineers the root cause of the battery problem and implemented manufacturing process improvements.
The fire occurred on February 4 in the check-in hall during pre-delivery quality control while the vehicle was being charged. A few days later, Ford suspended production and stopped supplying vehicles to dealers. Ford said engineers determined there was no evidence of a charging malfunction.
Ford said it is not aware of any incidents of this problem in vehicles that have already been delivered to customers and dealers.
The F-150 Lightning is being closely watched by investors as it is the first mainstream electric pickup on the market and a major launch for Ford.
Added to this is the battery issue persistent “execution issues” detailed to investors earlier this month by Ford CEO Jim Farley, which crippled the automaker fourth quarter earnings.