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Fisker Fires

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Robert.Boston, May 8, 2012.

  1. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Well, the plus for Fisker is that it seems many of the buyers are in it for looks and exclusivity (similar to ferrari), so issues like these aren't a deterrent (I remember reading one person saying if the car broke down they'd have it towed to a bar and use it to pick up chicks)
     
  2. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    And there are more than enough pics of Ferrari and Lamborghini bursting into flames - still that doesn't stop people from seeing them as "dream cars" and buying them. Perhaps it is a perverted status symbol? "Look, I am so rich, I can afford a $100k vehicle that consumes itself in fire within weeks!" :eek:
    458_20100728_6.jpg
     
  3. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Fisker has gas.
     
  4. onlinespending

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    haha...hilarious!
     
  5. strider

    strider Active Member

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    You need to reply to your CFO that the Karma is NOT an EV. It has a big tank full of highly flammable liquid. EV's don't burst into flames. Yes, the battery on a crashed Volt did ignite but crashed ICEs ignite ALL THE TIME so this is not unique to EVs.
     
  6. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    car fire.png

    (I couldn't resist.)
     
  7. Citizen-T

    Citizen-T Active Member

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  8. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Well not sure how much people have been following this Fisker fire, but the original Autoweek article has been updated, including a statement by they victim's lawyer. He describes how a Fisker "SWAT Team" of investigators descended on his home, hiding the car from public view. And how he got upset after Fisker put out a PR statement that implied he committed fraud.

    Fisker-Karma-fire.jpg
    Official claims Fisker Karma to blame in Texas house fire - Autoweek

    Local news coverage showing video of the Fisker team hiding the car: Luxury hybrid ruled origin of fire | News - Home

    Karma-fire-01.JPG
    Karma-fire-02.JPG

    Finally, an expert's opinion speculating that the fire could have been caused by how the ICE components are shoehorned under the hood.
    Expert: Fisker Karma's engine packaging, not batteries, likely caused fire - Autoweek
     
  9. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    That seems most likely to me.

    If this is the official conclusion, I will worry about the future of Fisker. Not only is the Karma an underengineered POS, but on top of that they come off as pricks in their customer service.
     
  10. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I know they are doing damage control, but putting out that kind of allegation against a customer has got to leave a very bad taste not only for him, but also for existing and potential customers. It doesn't seem necessary to go to those lengths.

    One of the commenters (Letstakeawalk) in autobloggreen brought up a comparison with the Tesla bricking incident (he's a known backer of Fisker though and owns stake in the company). Although I don't think that's a fair comparison, since the media coverage of Tesla happened after the investigation was already finished, and I don't believe Tesla implied/accused any customer of something as serious as fraud/malicious intent. They just implied customers with bricked batteries were negligent. Tesla never made any statement specifically about that owner, and the only thing they possibly did was release emails by that owner to the media (which he expected to be confidential for some reason, even though he had forwarded the emails to friends).
    http://green.autoblog.com/2012/05/08/fisker-karma-to-blame-for-garage-fire-in-texas/
     
  11. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Wow, that video, aside from the obvious spin, is sort of shocking in how Fisker responded... Maybe the area was closed off for investigation and to preserve evidence, but it "looks" like a cover up, so that's the impression it will leave.

    I'm no engineer, but I did comment on how packed in and messy the engine bay looked when I took the car out. I've heard of engine bays overheating and taking out a car, but they're usually beefy engines with multiple turbos. Beefy is not a word i'd use to describe the karma's power train (except perhaps in appearance under the hood).
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I don't know what the laws are on incident investigations, but the Fisker was sitting on private property - the owner's - and I would have thought he'd have some say on who comes onto his property and does what.

    When I read the press release by Fisker I was astonished that they would essentially accuse their own customer of fraud. Hardly surprising that the customer is pissed.

    Burning rubber smell, huh? Not likely to be from the battery pack.
     
  13. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Right. Well the impression I get is that the victim let Fisker do whatever they wanted until he saw the word "fraud" in their statement and figured he might be getting sandbagged. After that he was like GTFO.
    Fisker Karma owner blames house fire on car, offended by Fisker's doubts | Motoramic - Yahoo! Autos
     
  14. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

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    Yeah, it's a shame about the Texas fire. In all honesty, this is just one more nail in the coffin for Fisker. If Fisker had stock, I would be shorting like crazy right now. Fisker is a good designer and the car looks nice and aggressive. I was going to get it instead of the Model S, but once my father looked at it and the engine compartment he was ADAMANT about not getting it (he said the engine is too tight and doing any repairs on it yourself is going to be a pain)

    They have had way too many public problems related to the Karma.

    1. They had the battery replacement issue
    2. DOE loan issues
    3. Numerous PR issues related to customers
    4. A handful of cars "dying" - specifically the "Consumer Reports" car
    5. Now a fire causing significant property damage supposedly originating from the Karma

    Fisker right now is the bane of the EVs right now. I've already had to field questions and mockery about EVs now and explain the difference between a PHEV and an EV- not good
     
  15. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    Fisker didn't exactly imply fraud, they just said they hadn't ruled that out. But still, they went too far and they need to apologize for using the F word at all, and pronto.
     
  16. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    I feel the same as Dan5, it's a shame. I think Telsa had the better approach, going full EV and trying to be a "disruptive change", but I a successful Fisker would have helped EV adoption. The tech console issues could have eventually been fixed, though it's a good example of why you do NOT outsource critical components, particular something like software. If the fire is truly related to a mechanical design issue (too much, too tight) then that's pretty fatal.
     
  17. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Not every ICE car was a success in the 1890's either. It didn't stop the replacement of the horse by any significant amount of time. It just wasn't realized that that even though an individual ICE car polluted less than an individual horse, the number of cars combined would cause a problem that was just as bad or worse.
     
  18. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    One single car over it's lifetime polluted the air and ground (Model A's leaked a lot more than today's ICE cars) less than a horse's lifetime evacuation? True, or did not not fully realize exhaust's killing potential?

    I guess the word "pollution" would have to be defined in this context.
     
  19. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

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    #39 Dan5, May 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2012
    But in the 1890's ICE cars weren't a political play thing, nor was their radio, TV or the internet. Now adays you can not have a completely disruptive technology and have something screw-up on it in a public setting. Imagine if a car in the 1890's burnt down Roosevelt's home and Ford said "it's not the car's fault, he wanted the insurance money". That would be comparable to how the news disseminates now.

    I think Fisker has to be very, very careful how they play it out from now on and I think they could potentially kill the whole EV movement with the Karma screw-ups.

    [mod edit - moved comments and follow-ups over to the Cars, Candidates, Loan, and Bailouts thread]

    The Karma right now is political fodder. I'd hate to say it, but the best bet for the current administration is to cut ties with Fisker completely- It had potential and is a aggressive looking car, but right now the ONLY WORSE thing that could happen is if something bad happened to Dicaprio's or Bieber's Karmas. If you see Bieber's house burn down or Dicaprio standing on the side of the road- it's game over
     
  20. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    This is what I had to say over at FiskerBuzz :

    My guess, given how rushed and clumsily worded Fisker's statement appears (E.g., "Also, an electrical panel located in the garage next to the vehicles is also being examined..."), by "possible fraud or malicious intent" they probably really just meant "possible arson." Which would have meant anyone could be the culprit. But the word "fraud" in this context can only mean the victim did it. If Fisker didn't mean to make that implication, they should issue a public apology.

    Cars In Depth had this to say:
    Fire Official Blames Fisker Karma for House Fire, Fisker "Has Not Ruled Out Fraud"￾ | Cars In Depth
    So maybe they know something we don't. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
     

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