The Fisker Karma sedan
Patrick Rall's picture

Fisker claims to be near completion of Karma battery recall

A123, the company that supplies the battery packs for the gorgeous new Fisker Karma recently discovered a possible coolant leak that could lead to electrical fires in the high tech sedan and today, Fisker issued a statement claiming that the majority of Karma electric sedans built thus far have had new battery packs installed through the new recall – just two weeks after the automaker was made aware of the problem.

Fisker and A123 believe that just 50 examples of the Karma electric sedan are equipped with the faulty batteries but just 10 days after A123 made their official announcement that lead to the recall of the Karma, Fisker is reporting that the majority of Karma sedans already produced have had new, coolant leak free batteries installed. Fisker states that the Karma sedans equipped with the questionable batteries from A123, both those in the hands of customers and the ones at dealerships around the world, have either been repaired/returned or an appointment to fix the car has been made.

“We will always react quickly to ensure the safety and quality of our cars. We decided that the immediate replacement of the battery pack in every vehicle was the right approach for all our customers,” said Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker. “We identified the appropriate fix, made our retailers aware of the situation and began contacting all our customers within 48 hours and were well advanced with the recall ourselves before the official posting on the NHSTA website.”

The problem at cause for the new Fisker Karma battery recall was an announcement by A123 Systems – the company who builds the battery pack for the electric luxury sport sedan. A123 found that there were hose clamps in the battery cooling system that may not have been installed properly at their production facility. If the hose clamp is misaligned, it could lead to a leak and a coolant leak could cause an electrical short – which also increases the likelihood of an electrical fire in the high voltage system. The issue of a coolant leak leading to an electrical short and fire is a similar concern unearthed by the NHTSA during their extreme crash testing procedures with the Chevrolet Volt. Considering that the main focus right now on the electric vehicle segment is the safety of their high voltage electrical systems catching fire, Fisker was wise to announce a recall so quickly and addressing the recall matter even more quickly.

Fisker has been criticized a bit for a slower-than-expected introduction of production versions of the Karma sedan for the global market. The one advantage in the slow rollout of the impressive new Fisker Karma electric luxury sport sedan is that few enough units are on the road that when there is an issue like the one named in this first Fisker recall, the California-based automaker doesn’t have to do all that much legwork to locate the vehicles and get them in for repairs.

Fisker aims to be the premier luxury electric vehicle builder in the world and aside from offering a high end luxury vehicle with the required amenities inside and out along with the luxury price tag (now over $100,000 MSRP), Fisker has shown that they also offer customer service that will rival the best in the world. The Fisker brand will continue to grow with the introduction of the Karma-based Surf shooting brake and the Sunset convertible as well as the American made model currently being referred to as Project Nina. A123, on the other hand, has a pending deal with provide battery systems for other automakers including Mercedes Benz and General Motors.

Check out the links below for more on the Fisker brand and stay tuned to TorqueNews for all of your biggest automotive news!

Other Fisker News:
Fisker announces recall of the Karma following A123's disclosure of battery pack mistake
A123 Systems finds problems in batteries for the Fisker Karma
Fisker raises the price of the Karma sedan – again
Fisker Karma wins 2012 Design of the Year Award
The 2012 Fisker Karma luxury sport sedan fuel economy ratings
Production of the Fisker Sunset Convertible confirmed in Frankfurt

Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.

Share this content.