2012 Fisker Karma during road test, Los Angeles, Feb 2012Enlarge Photo
For the second fire, Fisker acted fast, recruiting an independent fire expert from Pacific Rim Investigative Services Group to help determine the root cause of the incident soon after it occurred.
The investigation located the ignition source to the left front of the Karma, forward of the wheel, and well away from the car’s lithium-ion battery, electric control technology and unique exhaust routing. The exhaust system for the Karma’s gasoline range-extender is contained in the front section of the car and was suggested by many in the media as being a likely cause of the Woodside fire.
The final conclusion was that a low-temperature cooling fan sourced from an outside supplier had an internal fault that caused it to fail, overheat and start a slow burning fire. Fisker is now in talks with the supplier of the faulty fan and has also issued a voluntary recall on its cars.
Fisker dealerships have already been made aware of the recall and are now in the process of contacting their individual customers. Fisker will also be mailing out formal notices to customers in the coming weeks.
Karma owners will be requested to bring their cars to their nearest dealership, which will replace the faulty fan with a unit that meets the required specifications. At the same time an additional fuse will be installed as a precaution.
In a statement, Fisker chairman and co-founder Henrik Fisker said, “This incident resulted from a single, faulty component, not our unique EVer powertrain or the engineering of the Karma. As this situation demonstrates, Fisker Automotive is dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to address safety and quality concerns.”