2024 Ford Lightning 'stop-ship' is reportedly due to a headlight concern



The time-consuming, and occasionally painful and expensive fact of the matter is: You don’t know what it will take to fix a problem until you’ve fixed the problem. Ford CEO Jim Farley rightfully talked up the numerous quality control processes put in place to ensure the 2023 Ford Super Duty came off assembly lines without any hitches other than a two-inch hitch receiver. We’re sure the new methods have helped. Even so, the 2023 F-250 Super Duty has been hit with eight recalls so far, the most recent in December 2023 affecting nearly 18,000 trucks. Since pickups are not just Ford’s bread and butter, they are the Dearborn manufacturer’s dairy farm and wheat fields, the 2024 F-150 and F-150 Lightning are enduring the strictest scrutiny. Ford put a stop-ship on the Lightning on February 9, without giving a reason, telling Yahoo Finance, “We will ramp shipments once quality checks are completed.”

Sam Fiorani, VP of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, told the Detroit Free Press, “We’re being told it’s an electric connection with the headlights,” and, “It’s a new part for the 2024 model. The connector apparently can leak water and short out the lights. They’ll flicker or turn off.”

A Ford spokesperson hasn’t confirmed that issue, and wouldn’t offer a potential date for lifting the stop-ship. The first Freep piece makes it appear the F-150 Lightning is having the headlight issue. However, we can’t see any difference in the Lightning’s headlights across model years, whereas the ICE-powered 2024 Ford F-150 does have new headlights. A follow-up Freep piece from today writes, “Also, as part of the 2024 F-150 standard quality checks, Ford is addressing potential issues with head lamps as part of production review prior to shipping to dealers.”

We asked Fiorani which F-150 variant is having the headlight issue, and if only one of them is dealing with headlights, what’s the issue with the other truck. He told Autoblog, “The headlight connector is the issue, but it’s unclear whether it’s just the ICE version or [also the Lightning]. If it is not both, the holdup on the Lightning is due to production being slowed on the ICE model, which is hampering the supply of trucks for the Lightning assembly line next door.”  

The bottleneck is beginning to clear, albeit slowly. Ford’s begun shipping two trims of the 2024 ICE-powered pickup to dealers. Freep wrote that, “People have called and emailed the Detroit Free Press asking about the 2024 trucks filling up random once-vacant lots in public places around metro Detroit and up to 90 miles away, curious about why.” The automaker said it would begin shipping the truck in early 2024, so the timeline is fine, but stacking up trucks for onceovers with the fine-toothed comb caught people by surprise. Ford’s not finished with that part of the process on the 2024 F-150, either. The XL and STX are headed to dealers now, the Lariat, Limited, and Platinum still awaiting orders to move out.

 



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