Lordstown Motors freezes production to address quality issues

Lordstown Motors’ problems aren’t over just because it’s manufacturing electric pickup trucks. The fledgling brand is pausing production and customer deliveries to help it tackle “performance and quality issues” with some components in its Endurance truck. Accordingly, it’s partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on a voluntary recall to fix a connection problem that could cut motor output while driving.

The recall will affect 19 vehicles already on the road, some of which were in use at Lordstown. The company isn’t offering an estimate as to when production will resume, but claims it’s making “significant progress” on component and subsystem issues holding up manufacturing. More details are expected to come when the firm holds its next earnings call on the morning of March 6th.

The freeze is tiny compared to issues at rivals like Tesla, which has recalled hundreds of thousands of cars (if frequently for software-only problems). However, Lordstown hasn’t made many pickups so far — it only delivered the first trucks from its initial 500-unit wave in November, and said last year that it only expected to sell 3,000 Endurance models through 2023. The halt and recall are proportionately huge.

Lordstown also doesn’t have much breathing room. GM sold its stake in late 2021, just a few months after Lordstown warned it didn’t have enough money to make its signature truck. The startup then raised funds by selling its plant to manufacturing heavyweight Foxconn. It deepened the relationship in November in exchange for two Foxconn-chosen seats on the board of directors. There’s pressure on Lordstown to turn things around, and setbacks like this don’t help.


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