Not long ago, Fisker Automotive took a public relations hit when a Karma battery failed during a Consumer Reports test, but its battery maker A123 Systems has now accepted responsibility and will replace all affected Karma packs at a cost of about $55 million.
In a press release today, Fisker said it has been working closely with A123 Systems regarding the power loss experienced by Consumer Reports. The problem was traced to the A123 battery pack and both companies immediately established teams to work together to find the root cause.
A123 Systems discovered a latent manufacturing defect in some prismatic cells made in its Livonia, Mich. facility that could result in battery underperformance and decreased durability.
As a result, A123 is replacing all impacted battery modules and packs for the Fisker Karma.
Following this discovery, Fisker is implementing upgrades to the VIP Customer Care Coverage included with the purchase of all 2012 model year Karmas. This new initiative will apply both to existing and future 2012 Model Year Karma customers and consists in a complete battery replacement at no cost for all affected 2012 Fisker Karma owners; plus a full vehicle warranty extension from 50 months/50,000 miles to 60 months/60,000 miles in North America. In Europe, coverage will be extended from 48 months/100,000 km to 60 months/100,000 km.
Fisker’s Quality SWAT Team has also been working aggressively on the next-generation vehicle software upgrade to improve customer experience, with a release planned in the next few days.
According to Fisker CEO Tom LaSorda, over 630 Karmas have been delivered to customers in North America and Europe since sales began at the end of last year.