Fisker has identified the problem that's been plaguing its Karma electric sedans, which it believes is the same problem that caused the embarrassing breakdown of the Karma purchased for review by Consumer Reports. The defect lies in the battery packs, which Fisker plans to replace in all of the 640 or so affected Karmas.
Fisker maintains that the problem has only been seen in a handful of its Karma vehicles and that the defect is limited to the prismatic cells produced by A123 Systems at its Livonia, Michigan facility. Nonetheless, Fisker intends to replace the battery packs for all 640 Karmas once A123 Systems can manufacture new fault-free packs. The replacement will of course be free to Karma owners, but will cost A123 Systems about $55 million.
Besides replacing the defective battery packs, Fisker will also be extending the warranty of Karmas from 50 months/50,000 miles to 60 months/60,000 miles in North America. European Karmas get an extension from 48 months/100,000km to 60months/100,000km. Fisker will alert affected customers in the next few days and plans to release a software update for overall optimization of the Karma later this week.