Last week, we covered that production at the Ford Mustang assembly plant came to a halt, and not because of a microchip shortage, but due to a gasoline leak that prompted the evacuation of some residents near the Ford Motor Company Flat Rock Assembly plant in Michigan. According to Detroit Free Press, Ford confirmed that repairs had been completed, and Mustang production will start back up on September 20th.
Around 1,400 Gallons Of Gasoline Leaked
The leak released an estimated 1,400 gallons of unleaded gasoline into the area’s sewer system, causing a massive evacuation of the area as officials were concerned about the flammability, contamination, and hazardous air quality caused by the leak. Ford had secured several hotel rooms to house people and provided them with gift cards to pay for food and other problems caused by the evacuation. Despite the repairs having finished, there is still a recommended evacuation due to the concern of benzene and other vapors lingering in the city’s sewer system.
The city of Flat Rock is working with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, Michigan Department of Environment, as well as Great Lakes and Energy to flush the sewers out with high volumes of water in an attempt to irradicate the vapors.
Underground Piping Decommissioned
Ford global manufacturing and labor communications manager Kelli Felker stated that Ford had repaired and removed the gasoline from the tanks and is now working to decommission all of their underground gasoline piping. They plan to replace it with above-ground piping to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again. Michigan’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Underground Storage Tank Division are reviewing the pipe replacement before approval.
The Flat Rock Assembly plant employs 3,510 hourly workers and 140 salaried workers. During the downtime, hourly workers received approximately 75% of their gross pay, and with production starting back up at the start of next week, we should be able to start seeing some Mustangs getting delivered once again.