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Fisker Recalls 19 More Karmas for Fire Hazard

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2012 Fisker Karma

2012 Fisker Karma.

Fisker is expanding its earlier recall of its luxury Karma plug-in hybrid sedan because of a fire hazard, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

As Christopher Jensen reports in The New York Times blog Wheels:

The problem, as identified by the start-up automaker, was traced to improperly positioned hose clamps that might leak coolant onto the lithium-ion-battery unit.

‘If coolant enters the battery compartment an electrical short could possibly occur, causing a thermal event within the battery, including a possible fire in the worse case,’ the company told the safety agency in December.

Anita Lienart writes for Edmunds INSIDE LINE that Fisker said 10 of the 19 recalled vehicles are believed to have already been delivered to customers. The 19 newly recalled vehicles were built from September 22, 2011, through January 20, 2012. NHTSA said that owners will be notified and instructed “not to charge or drive the vehicle.” The earlier recall affected 239 vehicles and was announced last December, Jensen reports.

“To date, Fisker has not received any verified complaints, warranty claims or any other reports related to this condition, but Fisker is taking this action out of an abundance of caution,” the car maker said.

Lienart notes that although NHTSA asked Fisker to label the expansion as a new recall, Fisker said in documentation filed with the federal government that it is not a new recall, and that there is no new underlying potential defect. Fisker’s battery supplier, A123 Systems, Inc., said batteries containing the defect may have been installed in a small number of vehicles that were not included in the original recall.

According to The New York Times: “The automaker announced in March it would extend the warranty period on its vehicles from 50 months or 50,000 miles, whichever came first, to 60 months or 60,000 miles.” Karma owners can call Fisker at 1-855-575-7577, Option 2, INSIDELINE writes. Dealers will arrange for the transport of the recalled Karmas for repairs, and will replace the high-voltage battery with a new part, to ensure that the spring hose clamps are sealing the hoses properly to avoid the potential for coolant leakage.

Among the owners of 2012 Fisker Karmas is teen singing star Justin Bieber, who was given one as an 18th birthday present. As Rene Wisely reported on April 12 for Edmunds INSIDELINE:

Bieber took the black $102,000 plug-in hybrid, given to him by manager Scooter Braun and mentor Usher, to West Coast Customs where, according to GreenCarReports, the kid’s Karma was pimped with a flashy chrome wrap, dark-tint windows, a strip of fuchsia LEDs under the grille and black 22-inch wheels.

Justin Bieber in his new 2012 Fisker Karma on The Ellen Degeneres Show

Justin Bieber in his new 2012 Fisker Karma on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Image of Fisler Karma by Fisker Automotive, used under Fair Use: Reporting.
Image of Justin Bieber by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, used under Fair Use: Reporting.


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