Print 6 comment(s) - last by BZDTemp.. on Dec 30 at 6:52 PM

2012 Fisker Karma  (Source:
The recall places the spotlight on electric vehicle safety and could lead to a drop in EV sales due to all the recent negative attention

Earlier this week, Fisker Automotive's battery maker reported a possible safety issue with the automaker's battery packs for its plug-in hybrids, but said there was already a solution to the problem. Now, Fisker Automotive has recalled over 200 of its Karma plug-in hybrids in order to make that fix.

According to A123 Systems, developer and manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries for automakers like Fisker Automotive and General Motors Co., hose clamps in the internal cooling system of the Karma's batteries were misaligned and have the potential to catch fire.

Fisker Automotive is now recalling 239 2012 Karma plug-in hybrid sedans built from July through November 3. According to Fisker, only about 40 of these vehicles have been sent out to customers.

While no customers have reported any battery issues or fires since receiving the Karma, Fisker would prefer to take care of the situation ahead of time before an accident does occur. The automaker noted that the fix only takes about an hour for customers who have to bring their car back in, but showroom Karma's will receive a longer fix that doesn't involve replacing the battery pack.

"The dealer will replace the high-voltage battery with a new part," said Fisker Automotive, referring to the fix that will be applied to customers' Karmas. "The remedy will ensure the spring hose clamps are properly sealing the hoses to prevent the potential for coolant leakage."

Fisker has already fixed about half of customer vehicles, and hopes to complete all customer and showroom fixes by Sunday, January 1.

Fisker's battery issues were first discovered on December 16 when Valmet Automotive, a Finnish company that assembles the Karma, reported coolant leaks in two Karmas. The very next day, a third Karma experienced the same problem.

While the battery problem is currently being fixed, and was done so before any accident reports, the situation places the spotlight on electric vehicle safety and could lead to a drop in EV sales due to all the recent negative attention.

Bad press for EV batteries heightened when GM's Chevrolet Volt caught fire after a side-impact crash at a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) testing facility earlier this year. NHTSA then tested three more Volts in November, where two out of three battery packs began to spark or catch fire.

Source: The Detroit News

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Dear Fisker
By quiksilvr on 12/30/2011 2:41:44 PM , Rating: 1
Thanks, asshole.


Tesla Motors.

RE: Dear Fisker
By Shig on 12/30/2011 4:25:44 PM , Rating: 1
The Fisker Karma and Chevy Volt are both plug-in hybrid electrics, they are not pure electrics. Pure electrics like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster haven't had these types of problems.

The problem isn't the battery pack either, it has to do with how these cars employ cooling methodologies. The pure electrics use much more advanced forms of liquid cooling and have redundant systems, the plug in hybrids do not due to the lack of space. Pure electrics don't need a big ICE engine or an exhaust system.

Any type of machinery will be extremely dangerous to the end user without proper cooling.

Another fun fact about Karma is that he was originally part of Tesla then left to make his own, poetic justice?

RE: Dear Fisker
By Mint on 12/30/2011 5:41:40 PM , Rating: 2
Not quite:
Musk believes that because Nissan's battery pack is passively air cooled instead of actively liquid cooled—like Tesla's battery packs—the LEAF's battery temperature will be “all over the place,” and result in “huge degradation.”

Also, it's pretty clear from the DT article that Fisker is using liquid cooled battery packs. The Karma is an award winning luxury vehicle at a $100k price point, so they're not going to be pinching pennies.

RE: Dear Fisker
By seamonkey79 on 12/30/2011 5:48:37 PM , Rating: 2
They took cells like phones and laptops, put a whole bunch of them together, and then act surprised when they overheat and catch on fire.

RE: Dear Fisker
By piroroadkill on 12/30/2011 6:28:26 PM , Rating: 1
Absolutely not true.

The most popular plug in hybrid, the Chevy Volt, has an extremely advanced liquid battery heating and cooling system.

The most popular pure electric, the Nissan Leaf, has a basic, shoddy, air cooled system for the battery pack.

You got the examples the exact wrong way round.

RE: Dear Fisker
By BZDTemp on 12/30/2011 6:52:49 PM , Rating: 2
You've got so many things wrong in your post it's hard to know where to begin. The only thing right is the blanket statement about any type of machine without proper cooling being extremely dangerous - that's true for pretty much anything from curling irons to space ships :-)

Try and google "tesla cooling problems" and you'll learn that the grass is not greener at Tesla. In fact one might say it's more like brown and dried out in some spots.

As for Fisker being part of Tesla that is just wrong. Fisker Coachbuild which is coachbuild/design company did design work for Tesla, there is a big difference in that and being part of Tesla. Also later Tesla sued claiming substandard work and stealing of ideas - the suit was later settled and Tesla ordered to pay Fisker a million or so to cover legal fees.

Instead of making stuff up please stick to facts - that's more fun if perhaps less poetic.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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