Ford has issued a recall related to its production halt of the F-150 Lightning over battery issues discovered during production. But the recall will only affect 18 vehicles which slipped through the cracks during its stop-shipment order.
The issue was originally found during standard post-production inspections, when one vehicle displayed a battery issue. Ford put a stop-shipment on all vehicles currently being shipped to customers and dealers, and paused production, but did not initiate a stop-sale. So trucks that were already at dealers could still be released to customers.
We later found out that the issue was that one vehicle caught fire in a holding lot at Ford’s manufacturing facility. Ford hasn’t heard any reports of a similar issue happening from trucks already in the hands of customers, or any injury or property damage as a result.
While investigating the issue, Ford stopped production and tracked it down to battery cell production from SK On’s Georgia plant. Affected vehicles seem to have been built throughout most of the month of January, with the problem discovered on February 4th.
After ironing out the problems and getting some fresh battery packs, Ford said it plans to restart production on March 13.
But it looks like a few trucks got away from them, or were affected and reached customers before the stop-shipment order could go into place. Ford has identified 18 affected trucks which made their way into the hands of customers, and is recalling those vehicles to make sure the batteries are in proper shape.
Ford will inform affected customers as soon as possible and those customers will have their high voltage battery packs replaced by their dealer. Ford says affected customers can continue to drive their vehicles but are encouraged to make an appointment for the repair at their earliest convenience.
Here’s Ford’s statement today informing us of the recall:
Ford is recalling 18 F-150 Lightnings due to a battery cell manufacturing defect, which occurred over a four-week period starting at the end of last year. We recently established that 18 vehicles containing cells from that four-week period had made it to dealers and customers.
On Feb. 4, during a standard quality check, one vehicle displayed a battery issue and caught fire. The root cause identified was related to battery cell production at the SK On plant in Georgia. Ford is not aware of any reports of accident or injury related to this recall. Together with SK On, we have confirmed the root causes and have implemented quality actions. Production is on track to resume Monday with clean stock of battery packs.
Well, 18 vehicles isn’t really much of a recall, but since we have a few concerned customers who have been emailing us about this, we figured we should write it up.
As far as recalls go, this seems like a pretty benign one, given the limited scope. It might take more work than a software update, but 18 trucks is pretty minimal, especially since it sounds like those trucks maybe shouldn’t have been released to customers in the first place.
So far, this is the only issue we’ve heard of with batteries from SK On, so hopefully this is transitory and only affected a couple batches of battery cells. SK On also supplies batteries for the VW ID.4, and has partnered with Hyundai as well.