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Ford Halts Shipments of F-150 Lightning Due to Undisclosed Quality Issue

by | February 26, 2024

Ford has ordered a “stop-shipment” of its F-150 Lightning. It’s the latest in a series of issues impacting both the 2024 battery-electric pickup, as well as the gas-powered version of the full-sized truck. While versions of the F-150 with gas engines are now being shipped again, Ford officials told Headlight.News they don’t know when the 2024 Lightning will begin rolling into showrooms.

F-150 Lightning Launch Event

Ford CEO Jim Farley at the F-150 Lightning launch. Farley has made quality control a critical challenge for the automaker.

An undisclosed quality concern has led Ford to order a “stop-shipment” on the 2024 F-150 Lightning and it’s not clear when deliveries will resume.

The automaker has run into problems with both the all-electric and gas-powered versions of the full-size pickup in recent weeks, though production and delivery delays also reflect Ford’s increasingly aggressive focus on addressing quality problems before its products reach consumers.

“Humbling” quality problems

For the past three years in a row, Ford has recalled more vehicles than any other manufacturer, running up billions of dollars in repair costs. Quality problems resulted in a “significantly slowdown” during last year’s rollout of the Ford Super Duty, CEO Jim Farley said, costing it about $1 billion in lost earnings before interest and taxes.

“It’s a humbling thing,” said Farley during the Wolfe Research Global Auto Conference in New York earlier this month.

He has ordered a “fundamental reset” to Ford’s quality control efforts, among other things tying executive bonuses to improvements.

Another setback

2024 Ford F-150 Raptor R - front 3-4

Ford has also had quality issues slow the launch of the gas-powered 2024 F-150.

In January, Ford was forced to temporarily put production of the gas and electric versions of the F-150 on hold. According to the Detroit Free Press, the problem was due to a “supplier parts concern.”

The exact problem has not been revealed and there are indications that separate problems may impact gas and electric versions of the truck.

With the Lightning, “It’s most likely a battery issue,” said Sam Abuelsamid, lead auto analyst with Guidehouse Insights, noting that automakers have become particularly cautious about any issues related to EV batteries because of the potential problems they could cause. That could range from leaving a motorist stranded to causing fires.

More EV News

Ford F-150 Lightning charging at Tesla supercharger REL

Ford has not explained what caused the Lightning’s stop-shipment order.

Trucks pile up

Since the problems were first identified last month, Ford has been parking both gas and electric versions of the F-150 at various lots around Detroit.

According to a statement the automaker e-mailed to Headlight.News, it resumed shipping the conventional model to dealers last week and “expect(s) to ramp up shipments in the coming weeks.”

As for the all-electric Lightning, the stop-shipment went into effect on February 9th and is “open-ended,” according to spokesperson Emma Bergg – meaning the automaker has yet to determine when deliveries to its dealers can resume.

EV Headaches

Ford is by no means the only automaker to struggle with EV production.

2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV RS - side by tracks

Ford isn’t the only facing EV problems. Chevy put a stop-sale on the Blazer EV in December.

General Motors, in particular, has suffered a number of setbacks, starting with the 2022 rollout of its Cadillac Lyriq SUV. It took until the second half of 2023 to start accelerating production anywhere near to original plans. The Chevrolet Silverado EV, meanwhile, is well behind schedule, as well, according to various GM sources. And the Chevy Blazer EV went into a Stop-Sale two months ago due to software glitches. While many dealers have the electric SUV in stock, GM has yet to come up with a fix that will allow retailers to resume selling Blazer EVs again – or delivering already sold models to customers.

The stop-shipment order for the Ford Lightning adds to Ford’s problems with the pickup. After an unexpectedly strong response following the truck’s introduction in 2022, Ford ramped up production capacity at its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center near Detroit almost sixfold. But demand slowed down sharply in recent months, Ford last month dropping one of two shifts at the production facility.

Nonetheless, the F-150 Lightning remains the country’s best-selling all-electric pickup. And it hopes to boost sales with new variants like the Lightning Flash. But the truck faces a growing number of competitors, including not only the Chevy Silverado EV but the new Tesla Cybertruck and the Ram 1500 REV due out late this year.


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