Ford has extended the production pause at its F-150 Lightning plant for an additional week following a battery issue that has resulted in one electric pickup truck catching fire early this month.
On February 16, Ford said it expected vehicle assembly to be down through at least the work week ending February 24, as its engineers determined the root cause of the issue and implemented production changes.
Now it seems that may take a while longer, as the automaker has issued a press statement on February 24 announcing that production is suspended for another week, from February 27 through March 3.
That's despite the fact Ford's battery supplier SK has resumed production of battery cells at its plant in Georgia. The statement sent to several news outlets, including Teslarati, reads as follows.
"The teams worked quickly to identify the root cause of the issue. We agree with SK's recommended changes in their equipment and processes for SK's cell production lines. SK has started building battery cells again in Commerce, Georgia. 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."
Gallery: Ford F-150 Lightning Production
The battery fire occured February 4 in a holding lot during a pre-delivery quality check while the vehicle was charging. Following the incident, Ford suspended production and issued a stop-shipment of the vehicles to dealers, though it did not issue a stop-sale of F-150 Lightnings that were already on dealer lots when the issue was spotted.
The company said its engineers found no evidence of a charging fault. Ford also said it is not aware of any incidents of this issue in vehicles that have been already shipped to customers and dealers. However, that doesn't necessarily mean other F-150 Lightning vehicles aren't affected; it's just that there are no reports of similar incidents yet.
Neither Ford nor SK have publicly revealed the exact issue that caused an F-150 Lightning to catch fire in a holding lot on February 4 in Michigan. Unless SK made a change in its production processes around that date, the issue may also impact battery packs built after the one that caught fire. We'll keep you posted on any new developments.