Lordstown halts production, shipments of Endurance electric trucks to address quality issues

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Lordstown Motors gave rides in prototypes of its upcoming electric Endurance pickup truck on June 21, 2021 as part of its “Lordstown Week” event.

Michael Wayland / CNBC

Lordstown Motors said Thursday it will suspend production and deliveries of its all-electric Endurance pickup to address performance and quality issues with certain components.

The electric vehicle startup, which partnered with Foxconn for vehicle production at an Ohio plant, said the team is working with suppliers on the root cause analysis of each issue and potential solutions, which “in some cases may include part design modifications, retrofits, and software updates.”

The automaker also will voluntarily recall 19 Endurance pickups to address a “specific electrical connection issue that could result in a loss of propulsion while driving.” Lordstown said it is working with suppliers to implement a solution that the company believes will address the issue.

Shares of Lordstown, which went public via a special purpose acquisition company in 2020, fell 11% to $1.09 on Thursday. It’s a far cry from the stock’s all-time high of $31.80 a share in September 2020.

Colleen Robar, a spokeswoman for Lordstown, said the company is unaware of any injuries associated with the recalled vehicles. She declined to disclose how many vehicles in total the company has produced and delivered to customers since production started in September.

As of Jan. 3, the company had produced 31 vehicles for sale and delivered six of those to customers, Lordstown said in a regulatory filing last month.

Robar confirmed the problems have not resulted in any fires, like a battery issue earlier this month with an electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup.

“While our experienced team has made significant progress in addressing the underlying component and vehicle sub-system issues affecting the Endurance build schedule, we remain committed to doing the right thing by our customers and to resolve potential issues before resuming production and customer shipments,” said Lordstown CEO Edward Hightower said in a release.

The company declined to forecast how long production will be idled at the Ohio plant, which Lordstown purchased from General Motors in 2019.

The company plans to provide a more detailed update on the status of these issues on its upcoming earnings call on March 6.

The recall and production problems add to a long list of issues at Lordstown since the company went public nearly 2½ years ago. It has been plagued by management, production and execution issues.

Automakers routinely have issues and recalls associated with vehicles but problems with EVs, specifically batteries, are of particular concern and interest, as the automakers invest billions of dollars in the vehicles.

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