Sunday, August 12, 2012

Another Fisker Karma Goes Up in Flames

Another Fisker Karma Goes Up in Flames:

A fire has claimed another privately owned Fisker Karma, the second such incident in just over three months.
Our friends at Jalopnik snagged the first image of the plug-in hybrid ablaze in a Woodside, California, parking lot as the owner stopped to buy groceries. No one was reportedly injured during the episode.
The cause of the fire is unknown, but the damage to the Karma appears to have consumed the driver’s side section of the hood, right above where the exhaust outlet protrudes underneath the bodywork.
The fire is the second such incident to take place this year, with another Fisker engulfing an owner’s garage in Sugar Land, Texas, this past May. The cause of that fire is still under investigation, and comes less than two months after the automaker and its battery partner — A123 Systems — recalled over 600 Karmas due to a possible battery defect.
Another recall was issued in December to reposition a hose clamp that could potentially cause coolant to leak onto the battery, creating a short and possibly starting a fire. Some 239 Karmas were recalled for that defect, with more included in an additional recall in June.
Karma has released an updated statement saying:
Fisker Automotive can confirm that one of its Karma models was involved in a vehicle fire during a roadside incident in Woodside, California. No injuries were reported; the vehicle was parked; and the fire was extinguished safely by the emergency services. Fisker understands damage was limited to the driver’s side front corner of the car, away from the lithium ion battery and electric motors. The car was not being charged at the time.
We have more than 1,000 Karmas on the road with a cumulative 2 million miles on them. There are more than 185,000 highway vehicle fires in the US every year. In an electric vehicle, immediate suspicion is focused on the battery and high voltage components. The location of the damage to the vehicle in this incident appears to rule out that suspicion. Fisker has not had any battery or high voltage fire incidents with any of its vehicles.
Safety remains our primary concern at Fisker, and is integral to the design, engineering and technology of the Karma, a model in which we have absolute confidence. Fisker staff have been in contact with the customer and are investigating the cause of this incident. We are also employing an independent fire expert to assist the investigation. A further statement will be issued once the investigation has been completed and the cause determined.

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