Fisker hosts power crews in Delaware, while cars burn in NJ port

The electric car maker tries to squeeze some positive PR by helping power crews responding to damage from Hurricane Sandy, but the storm has again called into question the safety of Fisker’s marquee offering, the Karma.

According to a report from car blog Jalopnik.com, 16 of the luxury electric cars were flooded by a storm surge while sitting in a parking lot at the Port of Newark.  The website quotes an unnamed witness who says the cars caught fire and exploded after being flooded with sea water.  The website posted a picture of the Karmas which were almost entirely consumed by the fire.

In response, Fisker released a statement saying that they are aware of the incident.  The statement points out that “none of the cars were being charged at the time.”  It goes on to say, “We have confidence in the Fisker Karma and safety is our primary concern.  While we intend to find the cause as quickly as possible, storm damage has restricted access to the port.”

Previous problems

It’s not the first time Fisker has investigated reports of fires related to the Karma.    Last December, the company recalled nearly 300 cars because of a problem with the the way some hose clamps were assembled that could have caused coolant to leak into the battery, potentially causing a fire.  

In March of this year, a Karma broke down during a test drive conducted by Consumer Reports.  The break down was apparently caused by a battery problem.

Hurricane Relief

The company has long been expected to build its next model at the old GM assembly plant in Delaware, but those plans are now up in the air.  The site is being used this week, at least the parking lots anyway, to stage electric trucks and tree trimming trucks responding to Hurricane Sandy.  

As part of a partnership between Fisker and Delmarva Power, crews from as far away as Florida are manning nearly 300 trucks that have been stationed at the assembly plant’s 40 acre parking lot since Monday.  Like most buildings in Delaware, Fisker officials say the plant survived Sandy with very little problems.  

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