Ford F-150 Lightning Battery Fire Cause Revealed by NHTSA

On Tuesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shared several documents that shed more light on Ford’s recent F-150 Lightning battery fire issue, as InsideEVs reports.

Namely, the documents detail how the fire happened after Ford was forced to issue a recall for 18 of the 2023 model year electric pickup units. The specifics come from the official documents from the NHTSA’s recall report, which were published earlier this week.

The NHTSA says that “when the vehicle’s high voltage battery is at a high state of charge, the vehicle could experience an internal short circuit in the battery which could result in a fire.” The documents also add, “Due to production process deviations at the supplier, the cathode aluminum tabs may contact the anode electrode material causing an internal short circuit when the high voltage battery cells are at a high state of charge.”

The fire took place in a holding lot on February 4 at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle (EV) Center, when a high-voltage battery pack caught fire. Following the incident, Ford was forced to halt production to determine the cause of the issue. F-150 production didn’t resume until earlier this month.

Ford’s battery packs for the F-150 Lightning were built by Georgia’s SK Battery America, and the fire issue only applies to those produced between January 20 and 26. Owners with these models will be contacted by their local dealerships to remedy the issue.