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USA: The Story Behind Fisker’s Karma Recall

If you were to judge the situation by the screaming — and pretty much misleading — headlines, Fisker’s Karma luxury plug-in hybrid is a ticking time bomb that could explode at any minute, its lithium battery pack spontaneously combusting into a volcanic eruption of molten metal, taking it and its owner or their garage and home with it.

Actually, the real situation isn’t anywhere remotely like that.

In case you missed this over the holidays, Fisker voluntarily recalled some 297 Karmas, about 50 in owner hands, the rest in dealer showrooms or being readied for shipment from the Valmet assembly plant in Finland. The reason for the recall is a coolant clamp that had been improperly installed during the manufacture of the battery pack by A123 Systems. The risk was that a leak could drain coolant from the pack, enabling it to overheat and possibly start a fire.

On January 2, less than two weeks after the problem was detected, Fisker issued an announcement that virtually all of the cars in owner hands had had brand new batteries installed or were on the schedule to be installed. The dealer cars and those in the pipeline had all be repaired. The issue was no longer an issue.


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