As if Fisker didn’t have enough troubles in launching its new plug-in electric Karma, now it acknowledges there is a defect in its battery.
The company said that it is extending warranties on the Karma because its battery supplier “discovered a latent manufacturing defect” in some of the cells it makes in Michigan “that could result in battery under-performance and decreased durability.” The battery pack is made by A123 Systems.
The snafu represents another black eye for the stylish, $107,000 plug-in that has had one of the roughest launches in memory. The low point came a of couple of weeks back when the Karma bought by Consumer Reports broke down before the magazine could test it. It was hauled away and repaired, but CR says the magazine has enough reservations about its dependability that it won’t venture far with it from its testing grounds.
Though only 630 Karmas have been delivered in the U.S. and Europe so far, Fisker has been trying to make the car a darling of celebrities. Justin Bieber just got one as a birthday present. The company says Ashton Kutcher has one, too.
All the flawed cells will be replaced and warranties will be extended five year or 50,000 miles to six years or 60,000 miles, Fisker Automotive says.