The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published several documents yesterday regarding the recall of certain Ford F-150 Lightning pickups that may be fitted with faulty high-voltage battery packs.
The defect was spotted when an F-150 Lightning caught fire in a holding lot at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center on February 4, which prompted the Blue Oval company to pause production and stop delivering vehicles to dealers.
Production eventually resumed more than a month later, on March 13, and Ford said back then that the problem was related to the high-voltage battery but stopped short of offering specific details.
Gallery: Ford F-150 Lightning Production
At roughly the same time, Ford issued a recall for just 18 units of the 2023 model year pickup and now the NHTSA has published the official documents regarding this recall, revealing what caused the fire in the first place.
According to the federal agency, “when the vehicle’s high voltage battery is at a high state of charge, the vehicle could experience an internal short circuit in the battery which could result in a fire,” adding that “Due to production process deviations at the supplier, the cathode aluminum tabs may contact the anode electrode material causing an internal short circuit when the high voltage battery cells are at a high state of charge.”
The battery packs were manufactured by SK Battery America in Georgia and fitted to 2023 Ford F-150 Lightnings assembled between January 20 and January 26, 2023. As per the NHTSA, the owners of the affected vehicles will be notified by Ford and directed to a nearby dealer, where the entire battery pack will be replaced free of charge.
In related news, yesterday we wrote about the 2023 J.D. Power Customer Service Index (SDI) study, which revealed that drivers of EVs are less satisfied with the service experience compared to owners of internal combustion engine cars, with the main culprit being the high recall rates among electric vehicles. J.D. Power said that customers of all vehicle types are more likely to rate their experience with a lower score when their car gets recalled than when it’s simply going in for regular service. In the study’s Trucks category, Ford is in fifth place, with 823 points (on a 1,000-point scale), behind Nissan, Chevrolet, GMC, and Toyota.
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