Ford F-150 Lightning had separate battery issue before fire

Ford staff create the electrical F-150 Lightning pickup on Dec. 13, 2022 at the automaker’s Ford Rouge Electric Motor vehicle Heart (REVC).

Michael Wayland | CNBC

DETROIT – A faulty battery that brought about a Ford F-150 Lightning in the firm’s possession to catch fireplace before this month isn’t the only dilemma the Detroit automaker has not too long ago professional with its new all-electrical pickup truck.

On Jan. 27, a week before the fire, the corporation issued a “client company motion” for a little team of cars to have sections changed to “avoid functionality degradation” of the substantial-voltage battery. Ford Motor stated the dilemma only affected about 100 automobiles so considerably and is not considered to be connected to the Feb. 4 hearth. Ford said it is monitoring the vehicles remotely and proactively getting in touch with clients when the corporation places the trouble.

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In spite of the modest range of cars impacted, it adds to a sample of issues Ford and other automakers are possessing as they invest billions in rushing electric automobiles to market. Lots of of the industry’s difficulties have been insignificant. But when they require the high-priced, and complex, batteries of the automobiles, economic issues and major protection issues – particularly fires – can come up.

For Ford, the F-150 Lightning troubles are part of ongoing top quality and operational problems, as outlined by CEO Jim Farley to investors times right before the fireplace occurred in a Ford holding lawn.

“We have deeply entrenched difficulties in our industrial system that have demonstrated tricky to root out,” he reported Feb. 2 through a fourth-quarter earnings connect with. “Candidly, the power of our goods and profits has masked this dysfunctionality for a extended time. It’s not an excuse, but it can be our truth. And we’re working with it urgently.”

Ford, which executives have mentioned was the most recalled automaker for the earlier two yrs, is not by itself in possessing troubles with its latest EV launches.

Toyota Motor final calendar year had to recall its initially mass-developed world EV for the reason that of a danger the wheels could come free. General Motors two many years back recalled all of its Chevrolet Bolt EV styles because of to hearth difficulties. Other folks this sort of as Hyundai, BMW and Volvo also have recalled electric powered cars, including plug-in hybrids, due to fire challenges in latest yrs.

To be obvious, fire issues are not special to EVs, they have historically been problems for the auto field and continue on to arise. Stellantis‘ Ram Trucks this 7 days introduced a remember of 340,000 massive diesel pickup vehicles to replace an electrical connector immediately after experiences of 6 fires.

Ford’s Jan. 27 detect was issued for a battery module challenge, which can 1st clearly show a “wrench” warning on the dash ahead of slowing down into a restrained efficiency mode or, at worst, becoming motionless by not shifting into drive.

“This not a protection remember. This is a proactive investigation to help reduce consumers of the determined motor vehicles from enduring a degradation in battery general performance and to receive discipline pieces for evaluation,” Ford spokesman Marty Gunsberg said in an emailed assertion.

The total of “customer service steps” Ford has issued for the F-150 Lightning due to the fact its launch in April 2022 was not straight away accessible.

Ford, as communicated to consumers, is changing “specified higher-voltage battery module(s)” from the vehicles with new areas free of charge of charge to reconcile the concern. The time necessary for the repair is one day, in accordance to information and facts furnished by a “CXS, Ford Worry Group Battery Electric Professional” to at least just one consumer.

With regards to the problem that brought on the fireplace and prompted Ford to halt output and shipments of the auto early very last 7 days, Ford reported it is unaware of any incidents or difficulties linked with automobiles already delivered to dealers or clients.

Ford said Wednesday it thinks engineers have observed the root bring about of the fire. The investigation into the problem is expected to be accomplished by the end of subsequent week, followed by adjustments to the truck’s battery generation approach that “could take a few weeks.”

The F-150 Lightning is remaining closely watched by buyers, as it really is the 1st mainstream electrical pickup truck on the market place and a significant launch for Ford. The corporation is in the course of action of nearly doubling output ability of the vehicle at a Michigan plant to 150,000 models by tumble 2023.

Ford does not launch creation information for the F-150 Lightning, however the business sold extra than 2,200 of the vehicles past thirty day period. In 2022, Ford claimed product sales of additional than 15,600 units of the motor vehicle.