2012 Fisker Karma sedan

Did Fisker deliver Karma before it was ready, for DoE loan?

Amid a series of quality issues over the Fisker Karma, a report surfaces that Fisker rushed the Karma out the door in order to meet Dept of Energy milestones.

Last week Consumer Reports posted a brief report that the Fisker Karma, a plug-in hybrid luxury sedan, that CR had bought for testing had died, and was towed back to the dealer for servicing. This prompted a flurry of coverage, some of it over-hyped negativity, and I posted a piece noting that while it looks bad for Fisker that CR's Karma died during testing, it's not unknown for newly built cars to inexplicably die and require servicing. Yesterday, Katie Fehrenbacher, writing on GigaOM's Earth2Tech blog, reported that Fisker had pushed delivery of the Karma in an effort to meet deadlines in the Dept of Energy loan program, implying that quality problems of the sort CR reported last week were due to the rush to meet DoE deadlines.

While attending yesterday's launch of the Coda electric car, Fehrenbacher reports having talked with a former Fisker employee who is now a Coda employee. That unnamed Fisker employee claimed that it was not uncommon for Karma's to be shipped to customers to have technical issues, and that the company rushed to launch before the car was ready.

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