What’s going on with random dead batteries?

The all-new 2021 Ford F-150 continues to be in hot demand and the automaker continues to crank them out as fast as possible with the highest quality despite a few recent setbacks. These include the semiconductor chip shortage and a week-long factory shutdown at the Kansas City, Missouri plant due to the extreme cold. And now another problem has arisen though it does not affect every new F-150.

The Detroit Free Press has confirmed some 2021 F-150s have been delivered to dealerships with dead 12-volt batteries as a result of phantom battery drain. There have been reports of this happening to F-150s still sitting on dealer lots as well as sold examples.

Some owners have been discussing the issue in online forums with the hope of figuring out the cause and, hopefully, a solution. Ford has confirmed it is aware of the situation.

“A population of vehicles built before we began shipping to dealers require a software update to prevent batteries from losing their charge,” said company spokesman Said Deep. “Our dealers were notified last week and customer letters will go out next week as part of a customer satisfaction program for this matter.”

Ford has not provided any further details, such as how many vehicles could be involved and, equally important, why the batteries are losing power to begin with.

Those affected owners talking things over online are mainly concerned with overall battery durability. For example, one owner said his F-150 went into deep sleep mode without warning and required a jump start to get it running again. They even had to use the regular old key to get the door open. Another owner experienced a dead battery after a 100-mile road trip, though the truck itself was only built on January 18.

For now, Ford is instructing owners with dead batteries or any related charging issues to visit a dealership for a software update. Hopefully, the permanent fix will require nothing more than updating software. Replacing batteries in potentially thousands of F-150s would be a costly and annoying situation.