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Fisker claims battery not at fault for recent Karma fire

We brought you the news this past weekend that a Fisker Karma electric luxury sedan had burst into flames while the owner was in a grocery store and yesterday the company issued a statement on their findings – proclaiming that the high voltage battery was not involved with the fire in Woodside California.


Since the introduction of electric vehicles in the US market there has been an ongoing concern over fire risks stemming from the high voltage battery, especially with models like the Fisker Karma and the Chevrolet Volt. Complicating the matter was a fire in the engine bay of the Fisker Karma earlier this year but with news of this recent fire, the budding automaker has acted quick to look into the burnt Karma.

In addition to the high voltage battery pack of the Fisker Karma, there have also been fire concerns stemming from the plastic engine cover and the unique exhaust system that vents behind the front tire rather than out the back of the vehicle. As soon as this recent fire was reported to have occurred in the driver’s side front corner of the Fisker Karma – critics of the innovative luxury sport sedan were quick to blame those items. However, Fisker Automotive conducted an investigation of their own with the help of the independent investigators at Pacific Rim Investigative Group and the results were that this recent fire did not occur in the engine bay of the Karma.

If the fire in the Woodside California Fisker Karma did not start in the engine bay – instead starting and being contained almost entirely to the driver’s side front corner of the vehicle – this means that the plastic engine cover and the routing of the exhaust system cannot be involved. Also, since the battery pack of the Karma was untouched by this fire it is clear that the high voltage battery pack had nothing to do with this burnt Fisker sedan. Fisker was quick to point out that all of those items were not at fault – although they have not yet determined the cause of the fire.

Fisker is continuing to work with the people at Pacific Rim Investigative Group to find the exact cause of the fire which early reports indicate is somewhere in front of the driver’s side front tire. That portion of the vehicle does not contain any high voltage or high tech gadgetry associated with the Karma’s super efficient drivetrain – instead that area is just packed full of the usual wiring, headlight assemblies and various sensors. While mysterious fires are never good for business, finding a source of the fire could help to dispel the myths of electric vehicles like the Fisker Karma being any more dangerous than any other car on the road.

Another key point of interest around the recent Fisker Karma fire is that the passenger compartment was completely undamaged so even had there been someone in the car when it caught fire, they would have been able to get out of the vehicle safely.

Fisker Automotive will release a full report once they have reached the end of their independent investigation into the Woodside California fire.


Aaron Turpen    August 17, 2012 - 4:02PM

In reply to by Nicolas Zart

lol I'm generally nice to most cars even though I'm not the market demographic for most of them. I try to see things from the perspective of those they are attempting to market towards. The c, for example, is a perfect college kid car. It's cheap to buy, cheap on gas, and comes in badass habanjero orange. My first car was a 1984 Corolla, basically that era's equivalent to the c. When I got the Corolla in 1990 for $650 it was a steal and after I added $1,000 in stereo.. bitchin Camaro. :D

"Bitchin Corolla, bitchin Corolla!
I ran over my neighbors.
Bitchin Corolla, bitchin Corolla!
Now I'm in all the papers."