Total Karma Recall: Fisker Pulls All Cars Due To Fire Risk

Tyler Durden's picture

Last week we reported on the searing woes plaguing the Karma "supercar" of green automaker Fisker, following the most recent episode of automotive spontaneous self-immolation. In fact, things for the company that has so far received $529 million in federal subsidies are so bad that also last week Fisker announced its third CEO hire in the past year (when in a supremely ironic move it hired the former head of the Chevy Volt program Tony Posawatz). As of last night things just went from bad to even worse, following the inevitable next step: a total recall of all Karmas currently on the road. Oh well: nothing that burning, quite literally, severeal hundred more million in taxpayer funding won't solve.

From Jalopnik:

Fisker is again recalling the Fisker Karma hyrbid-electric luxury vehicle after the most recent fire was linked to a faulty cooling fan. There are approximately 1,000 of these EVs on the road and two fires so far this summer.

The most recent fire occurred when an owner parked his car at a Woodside, California grocery store. By the time he was done getting the groceries his car was already on fire. This was the second incident for government-financed Fisker.

Earlier this summer a brand new Fisker was blamed for a house fire.

This is also the second recall from Fisker over a possible fire risk following the recall of approximately 240 vehicles due to an improperly-positioned hose clamp.

Fisker sent an investigator to check out the car and determined a coolant fan near the front wheel well of the car was the cause.

Fisker Media Statement
The investigation located the ignition source to the left front of the Karma, forward of the
wheel, where the low temperature cooling fan is located. The final conclusion was that
this sealed component had an internal fault that caused it to fail, overheat and start a
slow burning fire.

Retailers should be contacting owners soon followed by an official notice from the company

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Haole's picture

Their karmas are running-over owners' dogmas...

bank guy in Brussels's picture

You didn't start that fire ...

- Barry Obama

We didn't start the fire ...

- Billy Joel


strannick's picture

Q: What did one Tyler say to the other Tyler as they were dicussing the futility of govt subsidies while passing a burning car?

A: Thats Karma



knukles's picture

Some jokers are "showing" their Fiskers at the Concours D' Arrogance this week thinking them to be smoking hot.

Shocking they'd catch fire.

Oh dear, the egos abound, the high testosterone faux pride voltage is nauseating...

AldousHuxley's picture

wow....lots of anti-innovation here....the only saving grace of american economy besides military stealing of natural resources.


you folks really like bailing out GM and their shitty cars?


old gasoline powered auto industry is gone to China and India .....unless US leads in electric vehicle tech, no way in hell they can compete with Chinese slave factories.


arrogance of ignorance....

laomei's picture

We're snapping up electric and CNG powered too by the way.

AldousHuxley's picture

China fucked up American solar manufacturing but flooding the market with government subsidies.

China won, America lost money on Solindra....


Americans are some naive stupid mother fuckers engaging in "free trade" when the other side engages in "state capitalism".

And Americans want their "Solindra" to lose????? and do what drive 2012 cars for next 20 years in a country planned with automobile centric suburbian living while oil prices sky rocket???


America needs to start sending stupid people to china to retard the progress there and fuck shit up.

New_Meat's picture


"Americans are some naive stupid mother fuckers engaging in "free trade" when the other side engages in "state capitalism"."

Why, sir that is called having the citizens of la belle france pay to subsidize the production of their aircraft, or ... or ... or (but I doubt that you can get the picture).

I question you this: "where does the electric energy come from for the "electric cars"?"

- Ned

{I concur in your projection of American stupid people towards the Middle Kingdom.  Since you are so brilliant on that recommendation, I would believe that you, sir, should show, by the personal example of your dedication to the cause, that you should self-expatriate and effect the retardatoin that you so eloquently espouse.}

{{Go for it, bitch!}}


AldousHuxley's picture

coal ....america has plenty of it.


oil? US imports 30%....that's why US keeps going to war. when fed prints, inflation appears sooner or later and 30% of inflation is oil price.....steal oil then you can print more and subsidize banksters more.

Ghordius's picture

Dear AldousHuxley, the "automobile-centric suburbian living" was not planned, it was built by private enterprises selling a Dream. Ergo, not state planned, or, what's the new word, central planned.

Ergo your words can't be heard in the current electoral campaign, since they don't address the "hot button issues" this campaing is about and they just mess up the carefully crafted new-speak vocabulary.

To put it differently: nobody wants to hear that China is engaging in State Capitalism, it does not fit the narrative.


Sir Humphrey's picture

No not anti-innovation. Just anti-socialist tax payer subsidised eco loon projects like this, Chevy Volt, Solyndra etc. (see link)

And no we don´t like bailing out GM and their shitty cars! If you want cars made in the US try making the US a viable place to make them.


AldousHuxley's picture

actually I get it now....THIS IS immolation.


instead of self-immolating like in Italy, Americans created a car to do it for them.


auto-immolation. it is an innovative way to protes and all evidence is burned. genius!


put Robert Rubin in one of these and wait for the fire in front of shittibank.



Freddie's picture

The Finns must be embarassed for building that defective Elon Musk / Obama scam piece of shit Fisker ashtray.

AldousHuxley's picture

elon musk is tesla


elon musk is building space -X, Tesla, and solar city....after raking in with paypal. He has his own personal stake in it.


what's your favorite rich person doing with his money? putting them in ultra safe US Treasuries and trying to live off of interest rest of his life?


elon musk is what america needs more of....less paris hilton and george bush type of "wealthy"

Death and Gravity's picture

We don't need no water, let the motherfucker burn - burn, motherfucker, burn!

- Bloodhound Gang

Sudden Debt's picture

actually they did....
made in America remember? and that's why Obama wants it all to be made in China,.... for public safety and all...

Motorhead's picture

Solar-powered THAT'S what we need.  Hey Prez Obama, since your other solar outfits did so well, why not throw some money after that?

AldousHuxley's picture

solar doesn't require trillions in foreign invasions.

military industrial complex HATES Solar because all of sudden "defense" contracts will be for "defense" only.


where's that ZH post about millions of Americans in poverty? That's because US government spend the money on wars for oil companies.

LMAOLORI's picture



Al Gore started that fire obama and other dems kept it burning

"WASHINGTON -- A tiny car company backed by former Vice President Al Gore has just gotten a $529 million U.S. government loan to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000.

The award this week to California startup Fisker Automotive Inc. follows a $465 million government loan to Tesla Motors Inc., purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster. Tesla is a California startup focusing on all-electric vehicles, with a number of celebrity endorsements that is backed by investors that have contributed to Democratic campaigns.

The awards to Fisker and Tesla have prompted concern from companies that have had their bids for loans rejected, and criticism from groups that question why vehicles aimed at the wealthiest customers are getting loans subsidized by taxpayers."

in full

Democrats campaign contributions continue to flow

Fisker's Capital Fundraiser Loses $4.5 Million Case, Is Reportedly Removed


“This investment will create thousands of new American jobs and is another critical step in making sure we are positioned to compete for the clean energy jobs of the future,” said Secretary Chu.


Obama-Supporting Law Firm Advised on Failed Fisker Loan

AldousHuxley's picture

Wasted 3,000,000,000 ....that's TRILLIONS on Iraq War and they are planning for another at Iran.....


scandals of millions are just distractions to the real corruption....military industrial complex. that's where TRILLIONS get wasted on foreign lands.


Please find somethign larger than that to complain about otherwise, blame is on republicans for spending half of the money in military.

Tippoo Sultan's picture

Woodside, California...

One of the wealthiest municipalities in the United States. The "Karma" has certainly found a friendly population in Woodside...some of its residents: Larry Ellison, Ken Fisher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Joan Baez, and Koko, the sign language gorilla.

Did this burned-out electro-car/plaything happen to have a back seat full of plantains ?

Offthebeach's picture

The Fisker has a fever.
( Algore )

pythagoras's picture

I can't believe you smarmy imbeciles stand idly by while the US government spends trillions attempting to secure a cheap oil supply in the Middle East, or otherwise subsidizing oil companies, killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, yet you get your panties all scrunched up in a huff when the government supports new technologies that could actually break the dependence on foreign oil.

Fisker's problems are no different or worse than any other carmaker -- remember the billions the government spent to bring GM out of bankruptcy and preserve a couple million US jobs?  How many recalls a year does GM have?  Cars are fucking complicated and to expect a first-time automaker to make no mistakes is just desk-jockey unrealism.

The reason wall street has taken over our economy is because they just collect fees from everyone with no risk.  They get their commissions raising money for Fisker and Facebook and every other company whether or not the stocks fail.  If they actually do hold an investment that goes bad the government bails them.

Try to go build a company that makes real products -- things won't go perfect and you all can sit in your arm chairs and giggle till the next time lines form at the gas stations.

Stoploss's picture

LOL!! Cooling fan started the fire? No relay? maxi fuse? fusible link wire feed?? Does the fucker pull 60 amps? With NO circuit protection??

The Fiskar boy's just simply dont know how to build a car, much less an electric car. The electric car they are building obviously has zero circuit protection.

Even a fucking fiat has circuit protection, everything has circuit protection, except the Fiskar Karma.

Fortunately for Fiskar, they didn't build that business, some body else did.

So drive that flaming son of a bitch through the front door of the mutha fucka who did...

Fiskartards:  Pulse Width Modulation............ Learn it, use it, you are an embarrassment to yourselves!!

Freddie's picture

Elon Musk - another SillyCon Valley fraudster who cannot build shit.

Colonel's picture

And it even has... "The base model features an 'eco-friendly interior', including salvaged/reclaimed lumber." - Wiki

 Yeah, that ought to help. /s

 Sounds like a freakin wagon from the old days. "And the seats come stuffed with authentic straw from a real working farm(smell included)". LOL lefties.

Bogdog's picture

My Dogma ate my Karma and got heartburn.

patb's picture

sounds like they sourced a poor quality fan.


Likely they were in a cash squeeze and decided to save on secondary systems


Gully Foyle's picture


In December 2011, Fisker recalled the first 239 Karmas built from July through November 3, 2011, and delivered to the USA, due to a risk of battery fire caused by coolant leak. Of the 239 cars, fewer than fifty had been delivered to customers, the rest were in dealerships, and at that time no car had been involved in a fire. In the report filed by Fisker Automotive with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the carmaker said some hose clamps were not properly positioned, which could allow a coolant leak. “If coolant enters the battery compartment an electrical short could possibly occur, causing a thermal event within the battery, including a possible fire in the [worst] case.” The problem was discovered on December 16 at the Valmet Automotive assembly plant in Finland when workers noticed coolant dripping.[39][40][41]

On January 2, 2012, Fisker announced that most customer cars and cars stocked in dealerships affected by the recall involving A123 Systems-supplied battery packs are back in service. The vehicles have either had brand new battery packs installed or the confirmed repair to the hose clamp assembly undertaken. The remaining customers have been contacted and appointments were made for their replacement battery installation.[42]

On August 18, 2012, Fisker announced it is recalling about 2,400 Karma plug-in hybrids to repair a faulty cooling fan unit.[43]

Consumer Reports test drive

On March 7, 2012, a Fisker Karma purchased for $107,850 by Consumer Reports magazine was taken out for a test drive at the 327-acre (1.32 km2) CR test track facility in Connecticut. The Karma had less than 200 miles (320 km) on its odometer. While performing a routine speedometer calibration check prior to actual road testing, the car broke down and could not be restarted. "We buy about 80 cars a year and this is the first time in memory that we have had a car that is undriveable before it has finished our check-in process."[44]

The fault was traced to a defective battery caused by a misaligned welding robot at the A123 factory. The battery was replaced in a week. A123 is replacing affected batteries in the Karma and 4 other customers to a cost of $55 million. Warranty for the Karma will be extended to 60 months and 60,000 miles in North America.[45][46][47][48]

Fire incidents

A Fisker Karma was involved in a home fire that also burnt two other cars in Fort Bend County, Texas in May 2012. The chief fire investigator said the Karma was the origin of the fire that spread to the house, but the exact cause is still unknown. The plug-in electric car was not plugged in at the time the fire started and it was reported that the Karma's battery was intact. The carmaker released a public statement saying that there was uncertainty and conflicting reports surrounding the event. Fisker Automotive also stated that the battery pack "does not appear to have been a contributing factor in this incident."[49] The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is conducting a field inquiry of the incident, and is working with insurance adjusters and Fisker to determine the fire’s cause.[50]

A second fire incident took place in August 2012 when a Karma caught fire while stopped at a parking lot in Woodside, California.[51][52] According to Fisker engineers, the area of origin for the fire was determined to be outside the engine compartment, as the fire was located at the driver’s side front corner of the car. The evidence suggested that the ignition source was not the lithium-ion battery pack, new technology components or unique exhaust routing.[53] The investigation conducted by Fisker engineers and an independent fire expert concluded that the cause of the fire was a low temperature cooling fan located at the left front of the Karma, forward of the wheel. An internal fault caused the fan to fail, overheat and started a slow-burning fire. Fisker announced a recall to repair the faulty cooling fan unit.[43][54]

Tesla lawsuit

On 14 April 2008 Tesla Motors filed a lawsuit against Fisker Automotive, alleging that Henrik Fisker stole Tesla's Model S hybrid technology and is using it to develop the Karma. Tesla's suit claimed that the design work done for the Model S sedan by Fisker Coachbuild was substandard, and that Fisker Automotive diverted its best ideas to the Karma.[55] On 4 November 2008 CNET News reported that Tesla Motors would discontinue its suit after an interim ruling in favor of Fisker et al.[56] A news release on the Fisker Automotive website stated that Tesla was ordered to pay $1,144,285 in costs.[57]

Manthong's picture

I like my automotive "thermal events" to occur inside a combustion chamber.

Manthong's picture

Some guys thought my ’59 Studebaker Lark and then my ’61 American Rambler Classic were square until they discovered the feature that attracted me to those particular vehicles..

-a fully reclining front bench seat.

Long-John-Silver's picture

I discovered that (Air cooled engine) Volkswagen Beetle front seats could be easily removed just by manipulating the seat adjustment leaver. I could have the passenger seat stored upside down behind the drivers seat and a custom made mattress rolled out in less than a minute.  I had a lot of fun in that car. What was funny was all the Mom's and Dad's that thought a VW Beetle was to small to worry about what could happen to their daughters in it. 

nmewn's picture

So, the Fisker car plant in Delaware won't be going Forward?

What else has Joe been up to on our dime?

In late July, John Hynansky — a longtime friend of Vice President Joe Biden, and a major donor to Biden’s campaigns as well as President Barack Obama’s — was awarded a $20 million taxpayer loan to build a foreign-car dealership in Ukraine.

According to a public summary document, the loan, from the federal government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation, is for “[u]p to $20.0 million,” and is designed to “expand Winner Import Ukraine’s automobile business, [and] construct and operate ‘Winner Autocity,’ which will have two new, state-of-the-art dealership facilities for Porsche and Land Rover/Jaguar automobiles.”

Read more:

otto skorzeny's picture

how did this dumb irishman ever rise to power?

Offthebeach's picture

Biden, power? I've seen painted cast iron lawn jockeys with more power. He's not allowed to order out so much as a pizza.

diogeneslaertius's picture

Well, Cohaagen, I have to hand it to you. It's the best mindfuck yet.

buzzsaw99's picture

You are what you do. [/kuato]

A Nanny Moose's picture

Open your miiiiind your mind.

ZeroAvatar's picture

First it was a 'schizoid imbleism', later a 'schizoid ambleism'. (Total Recall)