Production and shipping of Ford's F-150 Lightning pickup truck is anticipated to remain halted until at least the end of next week as the company deals with a potential battery issue that led to a vehicle fire on February 4. In an announcement on Wednesday, the automaker revealed its plans to address the problem and ensure customer safety.
Ford has said that its engineers have likely identified the source of the vehicle fire, and investigations into the problem are anticipated to conclude by the end of next week. Following this, the company plans to make changes to the truck's battery production process, which may take a few weeks to implement. As production remains on hold, Ford is reassuring customers that F-150 Lightnings already delivered to dealerships and customers are not affected.
"We believe we have identified the root cause of this issue," Ford spokeswoman Emma Bergg told CBS MoneyWatch on Wednesday. "By the end of next week, we expect to conclude our investigation and apply what we learn to the truck's battery production process."
The fire, which was initially reported by the Detroit Free Press, took place during a pre-delivery quality inspection in a holding lot.
The F-150 Lightning pickup's battery is provided by SK On, a subsidiary of South Korean company SK Innovation. To date, there have been no significant battery problems reported for batteries supplied by SK.
Ford does have plans to switch battery chemistries in the F-150 Lightning to a safer lithium iron phosphate (LFP) but those plans are unrelated and were already in the works long before this incident.
No additional information has been provided by the company at this time.