Ford Restarts F-150 Lightning Production After Factory Fire
Ford Motor Co. is resuming production of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup trucks after a five-week shutdown, the auto manufacturer recently announced.
Ford pumped the brakes on production and shipments of its flagship electric pickup truck in early February after a battery caught fire on a truck and then spread to two others. The incident reportedly happened at a holding lot near the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, where the Lightning is assembled.
The company has been working with its battery supplier to identify the cause of the battery problem and implement a fix, the Detroit News reports. The plant’s temporary shutdown came at an inopportune time for Ford, already facing a backlog of F-150 Lightning orders.
Ford’s goal is to produce 150,000 Lightning pickups by the end of the year, a key part of its $50 billion electrification strategy. Ford wants to increase its annual electric vehicle production capacity to 600,000 cars by the end of this year and 2 million vehicles by the end of 2026.
The battery problem is just the latest safety issue to plague Ford.
The company issued more recalls than any other auto manufacturer last year.
Ford announced a total of 67 separate recalls in 2022, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show, far surpassing the 45 recalls by the next closest manufacturer, Volkswagen.
The company last year recalled roughly 345,000 vehicles in April alone, for instance, citing the risk of fires stemming from oil leaks. A month earlier, Ford announced that it was calling back 18,000 sport utility vehicles whose engines the company said could go up in flames if the cars are involved in crashes.
The Lightning had been a bright spot for the company amid less-than-stellar sales. The company recently jacked up the sticker price on the truck's base model by $5,000 to nearly $52,000
Battery supplier SK On has restarted production, according to the Detroit News, but neither it nor Ford has publicly disclosed the particular issue that caused the fires.
How California's Lemon Law Works
Fortunately, Ford owners and lessors in the Golden State have some important rights and protections under the California lemon law.
The lemon law generally requires carmakers to perform a wide range of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also forces manufacturers to buy back vehicles that they are unable or simply refuse to fix. That means compensating the owner for the vehicle’s purchase price, as well as financing charges, rental car costs and other related expenses.
A carmaker can instead offer to replace the vehicle, but it is up to the owner to decide whether to accept or reject this alternative arrangement.
How Our California Lemon Law Lawyers Can Help You
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle or are haggling with a car manufacturer over repairs, the California lemon lawyers at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.