Fisker to recall Karmas for cooling fan defect linked to fire
LOS ANGELES (Bloomberg) -- Fisker Automotive Inc., a maker of luxury plug-in hybrid cars backed by U.S. government loans, plans to recall all its $103,000 Karma sedans to fix a flawed cooling fan linked to a California fire.
The company, working with investigators from Pacific Rim Investigative Services Group, a fire-analysis firm in Corona, Calif., said Saturday in a statement that a fault in the fan in the car's front left corner overheated and caused a slow-burning fire in the vehicle in Woodside, Calif., on Aug. 10. The automaker and its dealers will notify customers of plans to replace the fan, Fisker said.
About 2,400 cars are involved in the recall, Reuters reported.
"This incident resulted from a single, faulty component," Henrik Fisker, the car's designer and Fisker's executive chairman and co-founder, said in the statement. The car's lithium-ion batteries, motor and other electric components weren't the cause of the problem, he said.
The incident follows a March recall by Fisker's battery supplier A123 Systems Inc. to replace flawed packs, and a recall in December for a software glitch. Fisker is working to improve its finances and sales after losing access last year to a portion of a $529 million low-interest loan awarded by the U.S. Energy Department in 2009.
The company earlier this week named Tony Posawatz, a former General Motors Co. engineer who led development of the plug-in Chevrolet Volt sedan, as its new CEO, replacing Tom LaSorda. Fisker's loss of its federal loan led the company in February to stop work at a Wilmington, Del., factory where it planned to build a second car model, the Atlantic.
The cost of replacing the cooling fans isn't likely to have a "material impact" on Fisker, the company said in the statement. It has delivered about 1,900 Karmas since last year, Henrik Fisker said this week.
The Karma fire in Woodside was the second this year. The company hasn't been able to determine the cause of an earlier fire in Sugar Land, Texas, Roger Ormisher, a spokesman for the company, said by e-mail today.
"The report for the Texas fire is not in the public domain and we do not have access to it," he said. Any link between that fire and the one in Woodside "is pure speculation and the real root cause is unlikely to be determined," Ormisher said.
Reuters contributed to this story.Contact Automotive News