A Fisker Karma has been implicated in a house fire at a residence in Texas. The car is said to be the cause, though it appears that the battery pack was not the cause of the blaze, and it was not plugged in at the time of the fire.
Fisker fingered for fanning flames
The Fisker Karma has been something of a media darling, partially because it’s a plug-in hybrid but also because it’s a luxury “green” car. Really expensive cars tend to get more attention.
Unfortunately, the Karma has become as infamous for its failures as it is famous for being owned by celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber.
A Fisker Karma, according to AutoWeek, has been implicated in a house fire in Sugar Land, Texas. The chief fire investigator for Fort Bend County, Robert Baker, has told various media outlets that the Karma sedan was the cause of the fire. The driver reportedly parked the car in his garage and within three minutes smelled burning rubber and discovered his garage was on fire.
Battery not the cause
The car, according to AutoGuide, wasn’t plugged in at the time. The battery pack was fully intact. Interestingly, a large number of fireworks were discovered in the garage along with “an electrical panel” that is being investigated, though fire officials assert the car was the cause of the blaze. The fire spread to the house, causing significant damage. A123 Systems, battery supplier for the Fisker Karma, did recall the Karma battery packs earlier this year, but the Karma in question was made post-recall, according to Wired.
Two other cars in the garage, a Mercedes SUV and an Acura NSX, were also lost to the blaze.
Chief investigator Robert Baker likened the fire to those caused by golf carts. He estimates Ft. Bend County investigates 50 per year.
Golf carts are electric vehicles and have very similar powertrains to electric and plug-in hybrid cars. Golf cart fires, many caused by battery and charging issues, are reported regularly nationwide. Golf cart fires were reported on Friday, April 13, of this year in Fort Lauterdale, Fla., and Lexington, Kent., according to the Orlando Sentinel and WTVQ, a Lexington ABC affiliate.
Bothersome setback or another coffin nail
Fisker’s engineers turned up at the scene to investigate the fire. Fire investigator Robert Baker, according to AutoWeek, quipped that he had “worked homicide scenes with less secrecy.”
Despite media doting, Fisker Automotive and the Karma have been fraught with problems. Aside from the fiasco involving the Consumer Reports tests, the company is having difficulty securing funding and commencing production at its factory in New Jersey. An incident like this could serve as another nail in Fisker’s coffin.
The investigation into the fire is ongoing. An official report is due in the near future.
Orlando Sentinel: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/fl-fort-lauderdale-golf-cart-fire-20120413,0,3461981.story