The exciting new Ford F-150 Lightning EV is finally shipping to buyers, but it looks like one of the many promised features won’t be available, at least not yet. We’re talking about “Phone as a key,” which lets owners open and use the vehicle without the keyfob.
On select modern vehicles, from Tesla to the Mustang Mach-E, owners can opt to use their smartphone as a digital car key. That way, all you have to do is walk up to the F-150 Lightning, and as long as your phone is in your pocket and you have the FordPass app, it’ll unlock your car automatically.
The feature has several other benefits, including starting the truck, opening the tailgate, and doing other tasks, but it’s not without cons or potential issues.
This week, Lightning owners or reservation holders started receiving emails that “Phone as a key” for the F-150 Lightning will not ship with the truck. The feature faces a delay, cannot be enabled and should arrive through a software update later this year.
While Ford’s communications didn’t explain why the feature is facing a delay, it’s likely due to security and vulnerabilities. We’ve seen situations of Tesla vehicles getting hacked through this feature, and in some cases, hackers could enable the summon feature and make the car drive away.
We’ve heard of similar potential issues with Ford’s phone as a key feature, plus the service already has a few problems, according to Mustang Mach-E owners. That said, Ford didn’t specifically mention any issues, vulnerabilities, or the potential for hacks. We’re not sure why Ford chose to delay the feature, but it did.
Either way, Ford F-150 Lightning owners won’t be able to use this feature until it gets enabled through a software update later this year.