Ford has issued a recall notice for 18 of its F-150 Lightning pickup trucks due to faulty battery cells. This defect has caused at least one truck to catch fire, which prompted the company to investigate the cause of the issue. As a precaution, the electric truck’s production and shipment were put on hold for four weeks while the investigation was underway.
On March 13th, Ford will resume production of the F-150 Lightning pickup trucks with a new batch of battery packs, ensuring that no faulty ones are included. The company refers to this as a “clean stock” of batteries. According to Ford spokesperson Emma Bergg, the root cause of the problem was traced back to SK On’s factory in Georgia, which is the South Korean battery supplier for the automaker.
Ford has not received any reports of accidents or injuries related to this recall, and the company is taking every necessary step to ensure the safety of its customers.
Bergg made the following statement,
“Together with SK On, we have confirmed the root causes and have implemented quality actions,”
He continued with these words,
“Production is on track to resume Monday with clean stock of battery packs.”
According to Bergg, the faulty vehicles are either with dealerships or in customers’ hands. Ford has been working closely with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to address the issue, and the agency is expected to issue an official recall notice next week.
On February 4th, Ford had to pause the production of its electric flagship pickup after a truck caught fire at a holding lot near their factory in Dearborn, Michigan. Unfortunately, the fire had spread to two other vehicles as well. The battery supplier, SK On, had previously mentioned that the issue was rare and was already working on a solution.
The F-150 Lightning is not the only electric vehicle to face a recall. Last year, Ford recalled 49,000 Mustang Mach-E SUVs due to concerns over a safety defect that could leave the vehicle immobile. BMW also recalled a “small number” of its 2022 i4 sedans and iX SUVs because of the risk of battery fires. Meanwhile, Toyota had to recall the bZ4X due to the possibility of loose hub bolts that could lead to the wheels getting detached while driving. Other EVs also faced recalls for various software bugs and other minor issues.
Battery fires are a serious concern for makers of electric vehicles, although such incidents are rare. Researchers have indicated that most electric vehicles pose a low risk for battery fires, but more data is required. In the unfortunate event of a fire, lithium-ion batteries used in EVs burn hotter and faster, and more water is needed to extinguish them. This has led some towns to train their emergency responders on how to handle such incidents.
Is it only Ford Facing Battery Fire?
The most significant incident was reported in Chevy Bolt, which GM recalled after at least 19 battery fires were reported due to defective cells from LG, its supplier. The fires persisted despite installing a software fix, and the automaker had to halt production temporarily. Chevy resumed production only after new battery packs were installed.