A Texas whodunit: The case of the fried Fisker
More bad news for battery-powered vehicles, or just a false alarm?
Well, the fire alarm was real enough. A house blaze in suburban Houston destroyed a new Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid car last week. But did the Fisker start the fire?
"Yes, the Karma was the origin of the fire, but what exactly caused that we don't know at this time," said Robert Baker, the local county's chief fire inspector, told Autoweek, an affiliate of Automotive News.
Fisker, which dispatched engineers to the site, thinks the finger-pointing may be premature.
"Based on initial observations and inspections, the Karma's lithium ion battery pack was not being charged at the time and is still intact and does not appear to have been a contributing factor in this incident," according to a company statement.
Fisker said fireworks were found in the garage, and an electrical panel was next to the vehicle.
But, says Baker, "This looks just like golf cart fires we have down here." The suburban Houston area has about 50 golf cart fires a year, he said.
Baker said that the Karma was purchased in April, and that there were two other vehicles in the garage, a Mercedes-Benz SUV and an Acura NSX.
Insurance and fire investigators swung into action.
"I've worked homicide scenes with less secrecy," he said. "There have to be about 15 engineers down here working on this one."