Since purchasing the remains of bankrupt automaker Fisker Automotive at auction last year, Chinese parts giant Wanxiang has promised to revive the automaker, including restarting production of the Karma and re-establishing Fisker's dealer network. While those new Karma sedans are still a ways off, Fisker is showing some signs of life. On Friday, the company added information to its website (www.thenewfisker.com)) for current Karma owners on how they can interact with Fisker.
The website details a new Customer Support Program (CSP) that will provide service and parts for cars already on the road, Fisker says. It includes a network of CSP centers where customers can go to have their cars worked on. The website's map shows 15 of these centers around the U.S.
Fisker will provide up to $2,000 in free parts and labor for covered repairs to current owners. Original owners—those who purchased their cars new from Fisker—will get an additional $2,000 in parts and $1,000 in labor above that. However, these benefits are only in effect until January 31, 2016, or until CSP funds allocated by parent company Wanxiang expire.
Owners can register through the website by entering their car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Fisker has also set up a customer service line at (844)-276-3589, and there's a forum at the website where owners and fans alike can interact. A letter was also sent to owners recently describing the program.
The fact that Fisker can offer owners replacement parts indicates the company has rebuilt some bridges with suppliers, many of which were alienated during Fisker's abrupt production shutdown and bankruptcy.
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The Karma was launched as a 2012 model, but didn't survive very long. It was plagued by quality issues, but some associated with Fisker also blame the bankruptcy and subsequent acquisition by Wanxiang of battery supplier A123 Systems (yes, the same Wanxiang) for forcing a production halt.
Wanxiang still plans to relaunch the Karma. It has reportedly invested significant amounts of money to fix "about 250 bugs" and generally update the car, which was last built in 2012 but was first unveiled as a concept in 2008.