EV Engineering News

Updated: Software glitch forces Fisker to recall Karmas

Fisker Automotive has frozen sales of its Karma sedan and recalled all those sold so far to fix some problems with the software controls.


Fisker Automotive has frozen sales of its Karma sedan and recalled all those sold so far to fix some problems with the software controls, according to Yahoo! Autos. Fisker has yet to release a formal statement about the issue, but it seems that the software glitch has caused a variety of minor problems, from random check-engine lights to faulty infotainment systems.

If there’s anything that scares EV buyers (and sellers) more than burning batteries, it’s the possibility of their cars acting like the rogue computer HAL from the movie 2001. The first of these specters visited Fisker a couple of weeks ago, when battery supplier A123 had to recall and repair some Karma batteries that had problems with their cooling systems.

Of course, no batteries have burned, and no EV has yet murdered its driver, but the press is poised to pounce on the slightest negative news, so we hope Fisker will quickly take control of this story, and release all the facts as they emerge. It’s time for serious damage control, which is why company founder Henrik Fisker plans to call every single Karma owner and apologize personally.

Company spokesman Roger Ormisher struck a no-big-deal tone. “It's a fairly normal practice. If you have an issue with supplied software, you put a stop on the sale until it's sorted. [Henrik Fisker] is going to make sure the customers are happy, and they can communicate with him…the most important issue is quality of service.”


[Updated: 01/14/2012 – 4:26 pm EST]

Customer Frustration Mounts
Since news of the recall, Karma owners, and customers awaiting delivery, have gathered on the forum FiskerBuzz.com  where they commiserate in a thread titled "UGH! Fisker stopping deliveries!!!"
We spoke to Fisker customer Dr. Scott Clarke about his experience.
"I bought my car on 12/20/2011. Since that time, I have had it for five days, during which the check engine light was on the entire time. My car has now been in the shop for twenty of the twenty-five days I have owned it. This is not the kind of thing that gives me warm fuzzies. I can't seem to get anyone to tell me when the car software will be available to fix the car either.
"Very frustrating to say the least. This car does not seem to have been ready for market when I purchased it, and still isn't. I hope they will get this figured out quickly because despite all of this, I really do love this car!"
Charged has reached out to Fisker for further comment. Much like their customers, we're anxiously awaiting a response.

Image: Fisker

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