Fisker Karma breaks down in Consumer Reports testing

A Fisker Karma luxury hybrid, purchased brand-new for testing by Consumer Reports, embarrassingly broke down this week before official testing even began. Consumer Reports paid over $100,000 for the vehicle and was perplexed that it stopped working just a few days into the check-in process.

Consumer Reports said that they had owned the Fiskar Karma for only a few days with less than 200 miles on the odometer. It was during a speedometer calibration run on their test track, when an error message appeared and the car would only shift into Park or Neutral. After letting the car rest and attempting to restart, the same error message reappeared. The testers let the car sit again and went through the process a couple of times before calling the dealer to get the Karma towed.

"We buy about 80 cars a year," says Consumer Reports tester Tom Mutchler, "and this is the first time in memory that we have had a car that is undriveable before it has finished our check-in process."

Fisker has released an official statement today in response to the incident, saying the problem is being looked into and that its technician are working closely with Consumer Reports to understand the cause and resolve the issue. The company also said that the dealership that recovered the vehicle was able to start the car and drive it off the flatbed truck and that it has since been operating normally.

Only 2,000 Karmas have been built to date with 1,000 at retailers and 500 in customers' hands. Fisker is still a relatively new auto maker and has been struggling with production delays and poor sales despite high-profile celebrity customers such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Ashton Kutcher, and Justin Bieber.

[via USA Today]