Published August 20, 2012
By Philippe Crowe
Following its investigation of an August 10 Fisker Karma parking lot fire on in Woodside, Calif, the automaker is issuing another recall.
Fisker came to this decision after its engineers worked on the investigation of the second Karma to catch fire – this one following a May fire in Texas – with an independent fire expert from Pacific Rim Investigative Services Group.
Their findings were that thee ignition source for the latest fire was to the left front of the Karma, forward of the wheel, where the low temperature cooling fan is located. As it turns out, the fan, a sealed component, had an internal fault that caused it to fail, overheat and start a slow burning fire.
Over the weekend Fisker announced it has voluntarily elected to conduct the recall with respect to this cooling fan unit. The company is working with the responsible supplier and Fisker says this recall campaign is not expected to have a material financial impact on the company.
Customers are expected to be contacted by retailers, ahead of their receiving formal notice from the company by mail, to have the cooling fan replaced with a unit that meets the required specifications. At the same time an additional fuse will be installed for added protection.
Fisker made sure to point out that independent experts involved in the investigation established that the incident was not caused by the lithium-ion battery pack, new technology components, engine component packaging or the unique exhaust routing of the Fisker Karma.
“I have been incredibly impressed with the way Fisker has handled this incident. I have personally started seven technology companies and know from direct experience that the U.S. needs more innovative companies of this type, especially in the automobile sector” said Rudy Burger, the owner of the car involved in the Woodside incident, who is looking forward to getting behind the wheel of his next Fisker.
We will add also that thousands of fires occur annually with internal combustion powered cars, and while this latest teething problem with the Karma sure doesn't help Fisker, it does not lend support to concerns anyone might feel about the overall safety potential for electric vehicles.