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Ford halts output of F-150 Lightning through at least next week

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A robot lifts a battery for installation in a Ford F-150 Lightning in Dearborn, Michigan in September 2022./AFP
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Feb 16, 2023 - 02:48 AM

NEW YORK — Ford plans to suspend production of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck through “at least” the end of next week, a company spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The auto giant halted production and deliveries of the pickup trucks after identifying a battery issue during a standard inspection of a vehicle prior to delivery.

“We believe we have identified the root cause of this issue,” said Ford spokeswoman Emma Bergg in an email.

“By the end of next week, we expect to conclude our investigation and apply what we learn to the truck’s battery production process; this could take a few weeks.”

Bergg said Ford is not aware of incidents involving Lightning vehicles already delivered to consumers.

As the electric version of the F-150, the best-selling auto in the United States for four decades, the Lightning has been closely watched as a key benchmark for EV penetration into the US transportation system.

The Lightning is built at the Rouge Electric Center, which is located at Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan complex, which has been repeatedly updated since it was first built between 1917 and 1928.

Ford has aggressively pivoted towards EV development, joining Detroit rival General Motors in the race to produce more affordable versions of emission-free vehicles.

But GM has also had its struggles with battery problems, recalling more than 140,000 Chevy Bolts in 2021 after uncovering manufacturing defects that led to fires.

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