Fisker CEO says that Karma sedan only shut down to protect itself in Consumer Reports’ test

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 16, 2012

When the Karma luxury sedan being tested by Consumer Reports magazine suddenly died, its image took a beating. However, its new CEO Tom LaSorda explained through a letter that it had only shut down to protect itself and that the Karma did only what it was designed to do. Aside from apologizing for the inconvenience, LaSorda clarified that a fault was detected by the onboard diagnostics and it then activated a protection mode that shut it down to protect other parts.

Consumer Reports bought a Karma for $107,850. On March 7, Consumer Reports was putting the car through speed calibration testing when it abruptly turned off. In its blog, the magazine said that its Karma was returned with a new battery pack.

But going back to the details of the incident, the battery light on the car's dashboard lit up during the test drive. The car would then not stop and the car would not restart after it had already been parked.

The Fisker Karma received some publicity starting with last summer when Fisker Leonardo DiCaprio became the proud owner of the first Karma last summer. Earlier this month, there were numerous reports that Justin Bieber received one as a gift. But then last year, more than 200 Karmas were recalled in January due to a software issue.

In the March 13 letter, LaSorda said that he has set up a "SWAT team" of 50 engineers and other consultants to recognize any problems or other issues that Karma owners are having. He added that new software was developed and installed in a big number of cars that were being tested "round the clock."

He said that the updated software will be sent out as soon as this procedure is completed. LaSorda promised "complete peace of mind" and assured that he will be personally involved in the automaker’s initiatives. He admitted that there are times wherein technologies would require "updates and refinements.”

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