Fisker Karma dies during Consumer Reports speed testing

Article by Christian A., on March 8, 2012

Fisker Automotive’s problems appear to be far from over and its image suffers another blow after the Karma unit that Consumer Reports had been speed testing suddenly died for undetermined reasons. The luxury car, which costs more than $100,000, died after being driven just 180 miles.

In a Reuters interview, David Champion, senior director for the magazine's automotive test center, said that for this to happen is a “little disconcerting.” Fisker had found itself in the news when a Karma was handed to actor Leonardo DiCaprio last summer and earlier this month, singer Justin Bieber got one as a gift.

The automaker has already issued the recall of certain Karmas. Fisker’s CEO has been changed. Its production was also stopped last month as it aims to renegotiate the terms of a $529 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Fisker has yet to comment on this report. Champion said that the magazine anonymously buys the car it wants to test. In January, Karma sales were halted in January for a four-day period to repair a software malfunction that had triggered warning lights while temporarily freezing navigation systems.

Last December, Fisker recalled 239 Karmas because of a possible defect in batteries built by supplier A123 Systems. The problem may result to a coolant fluid leak and electrical short circuit.

Last month, A123 cut its full-year revenue outlook after Fisker cut orders without warning. Consumer Reports had bought this car last Friday from a Connecticut dealer. Last Wednesday, Consumer Reports engineers had been hoping to calibrate the Karma's speed by driving 65 miles per hour down the magazine's test track in East Haddam, Conn.

California-based automaker Fisker Automotive brings you the Fisker Karma, which is the world's first ever Electric Vehicle with an extended range, or EVer. The new car is also a radical expression of all the possibilities in the automotive industry.

The “Karma,” which is a term that means the reward of good deeds in Hindi, allows those who appreciate performance and style to enjoy a car that’s environmentally conscious and that achieves great fuel consumption and reduced emissions. These are qualities that are still beyond the capability of conventional luxury automobiles today.

This four-seat and four-door car combines a striking and elegant design with ultra-low fuel consumption, zero emissions on demand, and high performance. It also embodies Fisker’s commitment to deliver Uncompromised Responsible Luxury vehicles offering pure driving passion.

Fisker Karma is an all-new car that features all-new technology from a new company. It will arrive in showrooms this summer and will set a new time-to-market benchmark after having been revealed as a concept only in 2008. The car will also create the Premium Luxury EV segment.

With the Karma’s proprietary EVer powertrain, which took inspiration from a military stealth vehicle, the car is able to accelerate from 0-to-60 mph in only 5.9 seconds, yet it achieves equal to over 100 miles per gallon and a CO2 emissions level of 83 g/km in real-world driving and on an annual basis.

Additionally, the Karma can run exclusively on electric power for up to 50 miles, thanks to its rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Afterward, its 175 kW generator, powered by a 2-liter direct-injection and turbo-charged gas engine, can extend the range for 250 miles. Therefore, the Karma's total range between recharging and refueling can reach 300 miles.

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