Ford Recalls 2023 F-150 Lightning Over Fire Risk from Faulty Battery Connection

Ford has launched a recall for 216 units of the 2023 F-150 Lightning, citing a safety concern related to the high-voltage battery’s bus bar retention nuts, which may be loose or missing. The defect could lead to electrical arcing at the bus bars, significantly increasing the risk of fire.

This recall affects vehicles produced at the Rouge EV assembly plant between October 31, 2022, and August 2, 2023.

According to the recall documents posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, the issue was first investigated by Ford’s Critical Concern Review Group on December 14, 2023, after a field report was received concerning a F-150 Lightning that stopped functioning and could not be restarted. A dealership inspection revealed a missing nut on the bus bar within the high-voltage battery’s junction box, leading to electrical arcing and a complete loss of motive power in the vehicle.

This was traced back to a rework operation on March 15, 2023, during which the nut was mistakenly removed and not properly checked or replaced afterwards.

Ford’s documentation indicates that the potentially affected batteries were produced between February 1, 2023, and March 31, 2023. Despite the possibility of motive power loss, the 12-volt battery system is designed to sustain steering and braking functions. Dealers are instructed to inspect for any loose or missing nuts and replace damaged components as necessary.

Owners of the affected vehicles are entitled to a rental vehicle if repairs are needed.

This recall comes at a challenging time for Ford, as the company also issued a stop-ship order for 2024 models of the F-150 Lightning for extended quality checks due to an unrelated issue. The automaker has also slashed its 2024 production for the Lightning by 50% due to weak demand for the electric pickup truck.

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