Ford said the Lightning will be shipped with the feature deactivated until an OTA update later this summer
This decision might be related to a report highlighting security risk with the Phone as Key system in Ford and Tesla vehicles
Owners will have to continue to carry the key with them until then
Ford sent a notice to its dealers saying that the F-150 Lightning will be delivered without the Phone-as-Key feature until the end of the summer, until an over-the-air update (OTA) activates it to all of the trucks built before then.
This is to prevent dealers and customers wondering why the feature doesn’t work in the coming months.
Ford has not said why it will proceed like this, but it could be related to a security risk that was discovered recently in the automaker’s system, as well as the one used by Tesla.
The Phone-as-Key feature allows drivers to use their phone to lock, unlock and drive their vehicle, without having to carry a separate key fob, by using the Bluetooth connection.
The security flaw that was recently found can allow thieves to gain access to the vehicle and even drive off with it by hacking the drivers phone and then using a computer to make the vehicle believe the correct phone is in the vehicle.
A similar flaw was also discovered in Tesla’s system despite the company being one of the earliest adopters of this technology.
If this is actually the reason why Ford is temporarily deactivating the feature, the company seems confident it will be able to make the system secure since it has promised it will be reactivated later in the summer.
In order to make sure their electric truck receives the update correctly, Ford says owners should make sure that their vehicle’s connectivity settings are activated until the update has been installed.