DETROIT – The bestselling all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning was not being built Tuesday at its Michigan production site because building has been stopped while engineers try to determine what’s causing a battery problem, Ford spokeswoman Emma Bergg confirmed to the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday.
She disclosed that the high-tech Rouge plant in Dearborn, built and designed specifically for this high-profile vehicle, has been out of production for a week now as the team tries to figure out the issue. Bergg declined to discuss the battery matter in detail. The vehicle is officially a “stop build” and “stop ship” situation.
While there is no stop sale of current vehicles on dealer lots, new vehicles are not being shipped to Ford dealers at this time, Bergg said.
Ford cannot say when production will restart, Bergg told the Free Press, part of the USA TODAY Network.
She declined to provide the number of vehicles not built since the production stoppage.
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Meanwhile, Ford already has a long waiting list for Lightning orders.
“As part of our pre-delivery quality inspections, the vehicle displayed a potential battery issue and we’re holding vehicles while we investigate,” she said. “It is related to the battery and the team is conducting a root cause analysis. Our engineering team applies rigor and discipline to establishing root cause, so I don’t have any timing to share with you.”
Motor1.com and MotorAuthority.com first reported the plant was stopped on Tuesday.
Factory shift cuts
Late last week, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker told the Free Press that some factories had shifts cut but no factories had production shut down. But the Free Press learned that production has, in fact, been halted since last week. Bergg declined to specify a date.
While stopping production is exceptionally expensive for any automaker, companies work to avoid producing vehicles that require recall or warranty fixes, which have drained billions of dollars from Ford’s financials in recent years.
Ford CEO Jim Farley has said quality control is a top priority.
This confirmation of a major factory disruption comes one day after Farley and Executive Chair Bill Ford announced the company’s plan for a new $3.5 billion battery plant in Marshall.
Follow reporterPhoebe Wall Howard on Twitter: @phoebesaid
Story Credit: usatoday.com