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USA: Fisker CEO says Karma shut down to protect itself

After Consumer Reports’ Fisker Karma failed during preliminary testing, it seemed like there was something seriously wrong with the $107,850 hybrid sedan. The Karma, purchased by Consumer Reports, died during speed calibration testing. However, Fisker CEO Tom LaSorda says the car was functioning normally.

“The Karma performed exactly as it was designed to,” Tom LaSorda said in a letter to customers dated March 13. “The onboard diagnostics detected a fault and entered a protection mode that shut the car down to protect other components. We are sorry for the inconvenience this caused the customer.”

When Consumer Reports drove its Karma, a dashboard warning light went off, then the car refused to retstart after it was parked. The magazine said there was a problem with the Karma’s battery pack and inverter cable, and that the dealer invoice said the problem was “duplicated repeatedly.” The car was returned to Consumer Reports with a new battery pack. “We now have a brand-new lithium-ion drive battery pack provided under warranty, though likely costing as much as a small, fuel-efficient car,” the magazine said.
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