Motoring|

Fisker Recalls Karma EV

Fisker KarmaFisker Automotive, a US-based carmaker, has voluntarily recalled 2,400 of its Karma sedans after a roadside fire in one of them. The blaze happened on August 10 and was subsequently investigated by the company. It’s engineers found that the source of the fire was where the low temperature cooling fan is located – to the left front and forward of the wheel. The recall is in respect to the cooling fan unit, and the company is working with the supplier.

The blaze on August 10 is one of many incidents that have damaged the rollout of the Fisker Karma, a plug-in hybrid model. The owner of the car involved, Rudy Burger, had parked his vehicle while grocery shopping. He found the left front of the car smoldering when he returned to it. The carmaker has stressed that the blaze wasn’t caused by the lithium-ion battery pack.

In a statement, Fisker said its investigation located the ignition source and concluded that the sealed component had an internal fault. This caused it to fail, overheat and begin a slowly burning fire. Its dealers are getting in touch with Karma owners so the vehicles can be brought back and the cooling fan unit can be replaced. Of the 2,400 vehicles under recall, 1,400 are already owned.

Fisker Automotive executive chairman Henrik Fisker says the company is committed to responding decisively and swiftly to incidents like this, ensuring all customers are satisfied. This event resulted from a single, faulty component – not the company’s unique EV powertrain or engineering. As demonstrated by the situation, they are dedicated to doing whatever they can to address quality and safety concerns.

As mentioned before, this isn’t the first incident to befall the Fisker Karma rollout – it has suffered two previous recalls. The first two were the result of faulty batteries produced by supplier A123 Systems. The automaker has understandably been obsessed about the batteries, but immediately following these incidents, the company acted as if other faulty components or flaws with its own design were inconceivable.

In the first fire, Texas resident Jeremy Gutierrez lost three cars and nearly his home and family as well. This happened in May, and the cause still hasn’t been explained. At the time, Fisker said in a statement that multiple insurance investigators were involved and possible malicious intent or fraud weren’t being ruled out. Initial inspections and observations showed that the lithium-ion battery wasn’t being charged and is still intact. He added that it didn’t appear to have contributed to the incident.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of rival Tesla, Elon Musk, has strongly criticised Fisker and its chief executive. He says they think the most important thing is design, so the engineering and manufacturing were outsourced. However, the fact is the outsourcing is the basis of the problem. They are outsourcing to people who aren’t knowledgeable enough to solve the problem. Musk added that they have released a mediocre product for a high price.

This comes as the base retail price for the Karma is over $102,000. However, Tesla’s Model S prices around $50,000. Both companies have been funded by taxpayer subsidies.

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