Ford to resume F-150 Lightning manufacturing on March 13

Ford will resume production on its F-150 Lightning electric truck on March 13, more than five weeks after a battery fire brought operations to a halt, the company said Thursday.

Ford suspended production soon after the February 4 fire, which involved a pickup truck that was undergoing standard inspection.

A Ford spokeswoman said there was no timetable to resume deliveries of the trucks to dealerships or consumers.

As the electric version of the F-150, the best-selling auto in the United States for four decades, the Lightning has been closely watched as a key benchmark for electric vehicle (EV) penetration into the US transportation system.

The company has not publicly provided a detailed explanation of the problem with the battery.

The US auto giant will restart production at its Dearborn, Michigan factory following the installation of battery cells from supplier SK, said Ford spokeswoman Emma Bergg.

"In the weeks ahead, we will continue to apply our learnings and work with SK On's team to ensure we continue delivering high-quality battery packs -- down to the battery cells," Bergg said in an email.

As the Michigan factory "ramps up production, we will continue holding already-produced vehicles while we work through engineering and parts updates," she said.

SK said it doesn't comment on Ford's production schedule, but a spokesman confirmed it resumed production of its battery lines.

"Working with Ford, SK On identified the root cause of the issue and implemented measures of improvement in our processes," the SK spokesman said.

"SK On believes this was a rare occurrence, not a fundamental issue with the technology of the battery cells or the overall manufacturing systems."

The Lightning is built at the Rouge Electric Center, which is located at Ford's Dearborn complex, which has been repeatedly updated since it was first built between 1917 and 1928.