Fisker’s CEO, LaSorda, Claims Fisker Karma Sedan Shuts Itself Down As Designed
Tom LaSorda, the new CEO of Fisker Automotive, said that the Fisker Karma luxury sedan owned by Consumer Reports shut itself down during testing to protect itself. A Fisker Karma that Consumer Reports purchased for $107,850 died on March 7 during its speed calibration testing. The Fisker Karma is a plug-in hybrid luxury sports sedan produced by Fisker Automotive, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rated the vehicle’s combined city/highway fuel economy at 52 mpg-US (4.5 L/100 km; 62 mpg-imp) equivalent (MPG-e) in all-electric mode, and at 20 mpg-US (12 L/100 km; 24 mpg-imp) in gasoline-only mode.
“The Karma performed exactly as it was designed to. The onboard diagnostics detected a fault and entered a protection mode that shut the car down to protect other components. We are sorry for the inconvenience this caused the customer,” said LaSorda in a letter sent to customers. Consumer Reports which publishes reviews and comparisons of consumer products and services said in a blog post that the Karma which the magazine purchased had been returned with a new battery pack. The highly influential consumer magazine said the battery light on the car’s dashboard lit up during the test drive and the vehicle would not restart after it was parked. The Fisker Karma sedan shot into the spotlight when actor Leonardo DiCaprio was handed the first Karma last summer, followed by pop idol Justin Bieber receiving one as a gift this month. Despite that good news, Fisker has had to recall over 200 Karma’s last year, and briefly halted sales in January over a software issue.
LaSorda said that he has put in place a “SWAT team” of around fifty engineers and other consultants to check whether there are any problems or other issues experienced by Karma owners. He stated that new software has been set up in a large number of cars that were being tested round the clock. “As soon as this procedure is complete we will send updated software out,” he added.