The highly anticipated Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck has been crowned as the 2023 MotorTrend Truck of the Year, but it seems to have some teething issues. Ford has called for all undelivered Lightnings to be held until a fix is found for the high voltage battery (HVB) pack issue, which has now spread to affect at least 100 pickups.
Background on the Ford F-150 Lightning
According to a report by the Detroit Free Press, some Lightnings are experiencing performance degradation due to the HVB not performing as intended. Ford has not yet disclosed the cause of the issue, but it has confirmed that the stop-ship and stop-build orders are in effect at the Lightning’s plant.
The High Voltage Battery Issue
Ford has access to each vehicle’s OTA connection, and as per the data, the automaker is aware of at least 100 vehicles potentially affected. However, there could be more Lightnings with a faulty battery, and Ford is still working out the exact numbers. Ford has promised to cover replacement parts and alert the affected customers.
Martin Gunsberg, a Ford spokesperson, said, “We monitor vehicle data to help ensure our vehicles are performing as expected in the field. We have identified that in some vehicles, their high-voltage battery is not performing as intended, which could result in a performance degradation.”
Ford’s Response and Replacement Parts
While Ford has not given a timeline for when the issue will be corrected and deliveries will resume, it has confirmed that the root cause analysis will determine how long it takes. This issue follows a series of “execution issues” that CEO Jim Farley talked about during Ford’s fourth-quarter earnings call.
In related news, Ford recently announced the construction of a battery plant in Michigan that will supply Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) chemistry batteries. The use of cheaper LFP chemistry batteries could reduce the entry price of the F-150 Lightning and speed up the production time, as these batteries will be made in the US.
The entry price of the F-150 Lightning has rocketed since its debut, with three price hikes this year alone, boosting the least-expensive Lightning’s price by $16,100 over its original $41,769 MSRP. These price hikes have made the battery production requirement of the EV Tax Credit, part of the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, more relevant. The IRS will set a percentage requirement for battery production for EVs to qualify for these tax credits.
No Timeline for a Fix
Although Ford has not issued a recall or stop-sale of currently delivered Lightnings, several owners have posted on Lightning and F-150 forums about receiving emails from Ford’s Concern and Battery Teams authorizing their dealers to replace certain high voltage battery modules in their vehicles for free. The reason stated was that the 2022 build-date Lightnings were “equipped with parts that are not performing as intended.”
Ford has assured customers that the issue with the HBV in the undelivered trucks is not affecting those already on dealer lots and in the hands of owners. We’ll be in touch with Ford to update as we learn more about the issue.
In conclusion, while the F-150 Lightning is a revolutionary electric pickup truck, it faces some teething issues with the high voltage battery pack. Ford’s new battery plant in Michigan could be a welcome relief for potential F-150 Lightning owners, as the
Ford has confirmed that the high voltage battery (HVB) pack of the all-electric F-150 Lightning is causing performance degradation in at least 100 pickups, leading to a stop-ship order and a stop-build order at the Lightning’s plant. Replacement parts will be covered by Ford, but no timeline for a fix has been given. The issue does not affect Lightnings already on dealer lots or in the hands of owners, according to Ford. The news comes amid price hikes for the Lightning and potential requirements for the EV Tax Credit. Ford has announced a new battery plant in Michigan that will supply it with Lithium Iron Phosphate chemistry batteries, which could help supply cheaper trims of the F-150 Lightning and speed up production time.cheaper LFP chemistry batteries could reduce the entry price of the truck and help with potential requirements of the EV Tax Credit.