Second Fisker Karma fire not believed to be caused by batteries

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Burning car

A second Karma fire has been reported in California. Photo Credit: Francois Schnell/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY

A second instance of a Fisker Karma bursting into flames has been recorded, this time in California. The second Karma fire, just as with the first, is not believed to have been caused by the battery pack.

Second Karma fire the last thing struggling Fisker needed

A lot of criticism has been leveled at Fisker Automotive. Some believe the government’s investment in the company was a failure, similar to the debacle involving Solyndra, the solar panel company that went belly-up last year after receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in government funding. Aside from financial trouble, problems were noted in battery packs from Fisker’s supplier for their plug-in hybrid Karma sedan, A123 Systems.

Though none of the more public woes of the company have meant that the company made a lemon, a Fisker Karma caught fire in a Houston, Texas suburb earlier this year. The battery pack wasn’t proven to be the cause, but fears of a green vehicle the will burst into flame after requiring one heck of a bank loan for a car are seeming more grounded as a second Karma fire has been recorded in California.

Batteries still not the cause

The second Karma fire, according to Jalopnik, occurred in Woodside, Calif., an affluent community between Silicon Valley and San Francisco. The owner had parked the car at a grocery store and went in to buy groceries, when the car began to smoke and smolder. The owner called Fisker customer service and was directed to call authorities.

The fire destroyed the front-left panel of the car, as the entire left side from the front bumper to the cabin was torched.

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The cause isn’t known, but according to InsideLine, Fisker insists it isn’t the battery pack. The company also insists it is not the exhaust routing, as the exhaust system is located in front of the driver side door, according to Jalopnik. Fisker has engaged the services of the Pacific Rim Investigative Group, a company that does insurance and other accident investigations, to determine more about the cause of the blaze.

Recall addressed risk of fire

Fisker recalled about 269 Karma sedans earlier this year, due to a coolant hose clamp that could leak coolant onto the battery pack, posing a risk of fire.

The cause of the first Karma fire is still undetermined, but the battery pack was not assumed to be the culprit, according to AutoWeek. The car burst into flames while parked in the owner’s garage in Sugar Land, Texas, an affluent suburb of Houston. The car was not plugged in at the time and the battery pack was intact after the blaze. Aside from the Karma sedan and the garage, the fire also took out a Mercedes-Benz and an Acura NSX, a rare sports car that the owner cannot replace just by popping down to a Houston or Austin Honda or Acura dealer and buying a new one.

The cause of the second Karma fire remains undetermined.





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