Fisker recalls Karma hybrids over fire risk

Posted by Shane McGlaun

The Fisker Karma is one of the most attractive and expensive plug-in hybrid vehicles on the market today. The vehicle starts at a cool $103,000 and so far, only a handful of the cars have been produced and sold.



The fact that production volume of the Karma is small so far has worked greatly to the advantage of Fisker as the company has been forced to recall 239 of the Karmas that have been manufactured.

Fisker recalls Karma hybrids over fire riskThe recall is due to a problem with a hose clamp inside the battery pack that the plug-in hybrid uses for its electric power storage.

Strangely, there is no mention of the recall or hose clamp issue on the Fisker official website. However, the New York Times confirms the recall was posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website.
 
The official reason for the recall is that a flaw with a hose clamp that prevents leaks of coolant inside the battery pack of the Karma was not positioned properly. The improper position of that clamp poses a risk of leaking coolant. If the coolant leaked and dripped onto the electrical circuits inside the vehicle, it could pose a fire hazard.
 
With the high-profile Volt fires in crash testing fresh on the mind of consumers and lawmakers in Washington, Fisker is taking no chances and issued the recall. The report filed with the NHTSA read, "If coolant enters the battery compartment an electrical short could possibly occur, causing a thermal event within the battery, including a possible fire in the worse case."
 
Fisker is reporting that so far it has been notified of no issues resulting from the hose clamp. The 239 cars in the field that have the issue will be repaired under warranty and returned to the owners. Federal regulations prohibit Fisker from selling any more Karmas until the recall is complete. The issue with the hose clamp was discovered on December 16 when workers at the Finnish assembly plant for the Karma noticed leaking coolant.