2012 Fisker Karma EcoSport

2012 Fisker Karma EcoSport

A Fisker Karma range-extended electric car is being blamed for a fire that occurred last week at a home in Fort Bend County, part of the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan area in Texas.

The fire started in the garage of the home, where the Karma was parked along with two other vehicles--a Mercedes-Benz SUV and Acura NSX.

While the exact cause of the fire is yet to be determined, an official that spoke with Autoweek said it started in the Karma.

“Yes, the Karma was the origin of the fire, but what exactly caused that we don't know at this time,” chief fire investigator Robert Baker stated.

Baker went on to reveal that the Karma was purchased by its owner only a month ago and had just been driven home and parked before it caught on fire. The owner said he smelt some burning rubber just before the fire started and had yet to plug it in for charging.

Fisker, together with its battery supplier A123 Systems, recently announced a recall for the Karma to address an issue with the battery system, although the burnt example in Texas had received the update and its battery is said to have remained intact even after the fire.

Interestingly, Baker said the scene resembled damage caused by golf cart fires, which are a common occurrence in the area.

According to Green Car Reports, Fisker was quick to deploy engineers to the scene to do its own investigation. With its recent recall troubles and federal loan doubts, Fisker certainly doesn’t need any more bad press. The company has since released a statement, which claims there are conflicting reports and uncertainty surrounding the fire incident, and that even fraud or malicious intent is a possibility. The full statement is pasted below:

Last week, Fisker Automotive was made aware of a garage fire involving three vehicles, including a Karma sedan, that were parked at a newly-constructed residence in Sugar Land, Texas. There were no injuries.

There are conflicting reports and uncertainty surrounding this particular incident. The cause of the fire is not yet known and is being investigated.

We have not yet seen any written report form the Fort Bend fire department and believe that their investigation is continuing. As of now, multiple insurance investigators are involved, and we have not ruled out possible fraud or malicious intent. We are aware that fireworks were found in the garage in or around the vehicles. Also, an electrical panel located in the garage next to the vehicles is also being examined by the investigators as well as fire department officials. Based on initial observations and inspections, the Karma's lithium ion battery pack was not being charged at the time and is still intact and does not appear to have been a contributing factor in this incident.

Fisker will continue to participate fully in the investigation but will not be commenting further until all the facts are established.