Fisker ends year on sour note

The company that will soon build its electric cars in Delaware has recalled nearly 300 cars because of a fire hazard.

Fisker Automotive says its Karma model is being recalled because of a problem within the car’s high-voltage battery.  Some hose clamps may have been improperly positioned while being assembled.  That mistake could cause coolant to leak and enter the battery compartment.  If that were to happen, the resulting electrical short could cause a fire.

The company says 239 vehicles may be affected.  Fisker owners will be notified about the recall and dealers will replace the battery at no cost to owners.  Owners can call Fisker Consumer Affairs at 1-855-575-7577 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-888-3270-4236 with questions about the recall.

More than 100 people are working at Fisker’s assembly plant in Newport, Delaware, reconfiguring the plant to assemble Fisker’s Nina model.  The company says it is on target to begin production in Newport next year.  Eventually as many as 2,000 people may be working at the site formerly occupied by General Motors.

Earlier this year, Fisker came under fire from some who accused to company of spending loan money from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) overseas.  A report prepared by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity said the company spent DOE money on its assembly line in Finland where the Karma is being produced.  The company denied those allegations saying in an October statement, “Only private equity financing, of which we have raised over $600-million so far, has been used for costs not covered by the Department of Energy loans, of which only a small part is production costs in Finland.”

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