Ford Halts Production at Two Plants to Deal with Problems

February 2, 2023 | Industry News

Just a day after Ford Motor Co. halted production of its popular F-150 Lightning EV, it revealed it’s shutting down the line for its compact crossover Escape for a week. 

The company halted production of the F-150 Lighting after a routine inspection revealed a problem with one battery.

The company, which was saddled with a multi-billion dollar deficit in 2022 due to supply chain and other production-related issues, stopped building its extremely popular F-150 Lightning all-electric pickup truck. At the time it was unclear how long and what was the root cause of the stoppage. Ford officials offered clarity Wednesday.

“We are suspending production at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center through at least the end of next week,” spokesperson Emma Berg said in a statement emailed to TheDetroitBureau.com. “During a standard Lightning pre-delivery quality inspection, one vehicle displayed a battery issue. We believe we have identified the root cause of this issue. 

“By the end of next week, we expect to conclude our investigation and apply what we learn to the truck’s battery production process; this could take a few weeks. We will continue holding already-produced vehicles while we work through engineering and process updates.  

“We are not aware of any incidents of this issue in the field and do not believe F-150 Lightnings already in customers’ hands are affected by this issue.”

Production on Ford’s newly updated Escape is on hold due to a software problem.

The company held production of the vehicles built during the timeframe they issue was discovered, but did not issue a stop-sale notice to dealers. Still, shutting down production of the in-demand vehicle is problematic for dealers and Ford’s bottom line.

Can’t escape problems

With the F-150 Lightning problems going on, Ford hit another production snag. New Ford Escapes are at a full stop at the company’s plant in Louisville, Kentucky. The company is dealing with a software issue affecting the compact crossovers.

According to a report in Automotive News, workers were told the plant will be shut down Feb. 13-19 as the company deals with a problem impacting the vehicle’s instrument cluster.

“We’re on a day-by-day basis right now and I know that’s frustrating,” Brandon Reisinger, the plant’s building chairman, told employees, the publication noted. “The issue we’ve got, the cluster, is a software issue. It’s not a hardware issue. If it were to get out, it would not be something that would endanger anybody … but it would have the vehicles coming back to the dealership.”

The Escape and its Lincoln sibling, the Corsair, received significant updates for the 2023 model year, and the vehicles are in the pre-production launch phase. 

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