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How many ways can a car be delayed? For the Fisker Karma, the answer is: a lot. Following all sorts of problems in getting the luxury plug-in hybrid to market (to say nothing of the price increases and the two insta-recalls), Fisker's latest problem is, apparently, having finished vehicles that are stuck at the border just waiting to come into the U.S. (The Karma is built at the Valmet factory in Finland.)

According to Automotive News (via USA Today), the ongoing problems are causing potential buyers to take their $5,000 deposits back. USA Today writes, "Some 1,500 of the Finnish-built Karmas are stuck at sea, stuck in customs or otherwise stuck." That is not a good situation.

So, how does that 60-new-Karmas-a-day number look now? More importantly, if the Karma goes bad, will the company's next project – the already-controversial Nina for which the feds loaned Fisker over $500 million – be dead before it really starts?

*UPDATE: Roger Ormisher, Fisker's senior director, global corporate communications & PR, let us know that: "This information is not correct. We had a brief stop sale last week for software upgrades on the cars. This was cancelled on Wednesday evening and we are in the process of shipping cars to dealers and registering them again. There are no cars 'stuck at sea.' Rechtin's story in AN was based on an interview conducted more than 3 weeks ago – USA picked this up and in our view misrepresented the facts." We apologize.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well I am a Fisker owner. A signature series edition. So you are getting details straight from a real consumer here! First off the 100k. The car is beautiful both inside and out. Its very comfortable to drive. I also own a Individual Package BMW 750 li. So as far as the beauty of the car is concerned they nailed it. It's worth the 100k. But i think Fisker needed a little more debugging time. Which to me they have had plenty of time to iron out their issues. There are some technical glitches that are annoying and they keep saying things will be fixed in future updates. Now here is where paying the 100k is a negative. Why should i have to pay 100k to be their lab rat. They should have already had lab rats figuring this thing out. I was only in the car 2 weeks and found a bunch of things that needed to be fixed. I'm not going to get into detail with some other issues cause then they will know its me bitching! If there were no issues with the car it would be awesome. Like how could they have not noticed the delay when switching from the A/C screen to the Radio screen? Or when you hit the number button to bring up the keypad to type in channels it has a delay. How do you not notice that stuff???? I will say this...I had the average MPG up over 300!!!! Can't understand all the glitches going on but i guess when it's the first of its kind, there are bound to be issues. Just thought with all the time they took getting this car out i assumed it would of been better tested for all the bugs. I will already be without my car for 2 weeks and only had it for about 2-3 weeks to start. Don't know how much patience i will have for this before my attorney might have to get involved!!!! Your Personal Fisker Lab Rat!
      Yegor
      • 3 Years Ago
      Karma + $100,000 price tag = Bad Karma
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      Pretty much all car manufacturers have delays for all kinds of reasons. The Prius V had multiple month's worth of delays, but we didn't see the Prius V getting trashed the same way EV manufacturers get trashed. The big difference is the volume of the rhetoric regarding these delays. That goes more to those hyping the delays than to the car manufacturers who are being bashed.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ugh. I just wish the DoE didn't give them the loan. They better get that damn Delaware factory up & running.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lol, recurring theme with electric or hybrid cars, is it not? :)
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        A problem endemic to start-up automakers...
          PR
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          2 wheel - I'm the one who down-rated your post and uprated LTAW's post.
          PR
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          yeah, LTAW runs the Hydrogen plant on his side of the property, while I run the bio-fuel plant on my side of the property. We use EV's to meet in the middle of the property to debate which fuel is better. Seriously, I really did upgrade LTAW's post and downgrade yours. I've given you 2 downgrades on this comment section, and I've given LTAW 4 upgrades. Nothing at all personal, and I'm not taking sides. It just worked out that way here. I downgrade LTAW plenty of times in other blogs, and upgrade you plenty of times in other blogs. Just not in this one. I just thought I'd set the record straight since I was the guilty party.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          ...right.. no coincidence that whenever i see a reply from LTAW, i'm downrated and he's uprated. Do you guys live together, by chance? lol
          PR
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Well, I already get called the meanie around here, I might as well earn it! *grin*
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          If I were you, 2WM, I wouldn't worry about some silly thing like votes on the internet. I have my opinions, and you have yours. Nothing wrong with expressing them - but when you start tailoring your opinion because you think it will somehow make people vote you up, is it really your opinion, or what you think people want to read?
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I didn't disagree - you are correct that there have been delays for many of the alternative techs. I was merely adding an additional supporting point; I apologize if you thought I was somehow being critical. As for the up/down rating - you've got that twisted. I voted you up.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Go on google, and search for: Nissan Leaf delay Chevy Volt delay Honda Insight delay Toyota Prius delay BTW, nice move downrating my post then uprating yours. I know you have been doing this on all my posts ( regardless of content ) for a while and will counteract you every time. That's quite petty, LTAW.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Shame on you, PR! You should have just let 2WM continue thinking I was an internet meanie...
      marcopolo
      • 3 Years Ago
      What an unusual article! Why publish a story, then a disclaimer saying the original it isn't true? Whoops, how silly of me, ABG just feeding the chickens! 42 comments about this complete non-story, mostly by posters who would never buy a Fisker-Karma, rehashing the usual nonsense every-time an article about Fisker appears.
        electronx16
        • 3 Years Ago
        @marcopolo
        Yes Marco, everybody is crazy but you....
          PR
          • 3 Years Ago
          @electronx16
          Marco, what does vehicle ownership have to do with this? If you say the sky is green, does your ownership of whatever cars you own make you right? You are just exposing yourself as a completely illogical little troll without any grip on reality.
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @electronx16
          @electronx16 Talk to me when you buy a Karma, oh well, any EV!
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm not going to bash Sebastian for repeating a false report from USA Today. But given the general atmosphere of anti-Fisker politically motivated disinformation during election time, it might be smart for ABG to do a little bit more digging on Fisker stories before relaying them between now and November. Just a suggestion to keep ABG from getting innocently caught in this sort of thing in the future. I'm not laying blame.
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      "will the company's next project – the already-controversial Nina for which the feds loaned Fisker over $500 million – be dead before it really starts? " What would Karma's getting stuck in the import process have to do with the Nina that is being built right here in the United States? Delaware is right here in the US, and won't need to go through The Nina is already funded (as everyone here who complains about the Nina's gov't funding keeps reminding us). It doesn't depend upon Karma sales to fund its production. Fisker could cut Karma sales down to Tesla Roadster levels (less than 3,000 over multiple years) and still build the Nina.
      Doug
      • 3 Years Ago
      tWhat's Quantum Technology's current involvement (and culpability for problems/delays) with Fisker? I had heard that Fisker is dumping them going forward. Any truth to that?
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Doug
        QTWW is still a minor (~1%) shareholder in Fisker, and their Q-Drive is in the Karma, so they are a supplier. But Fisker has said that they're doing their own drivetrain in-house for the Nina. QTWW's role seems like it will be minimal, if not non-existent, in the future. They also supply the rooftop PV panel.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          It's hard to say, QTWW's real value is in the software, not the mechanical bits. Anyone can supply the battery, and the motor, and the transmission - and hook them all together. But the software that makes it run smoothly (and this isn't the buggy Visteon touch-screen software we're talking about) seems to work pretty seamlessly. The drivetrain for the NINA is a lighter-spec version of that in the Karma. One drive motor instead of two... and the multi-speed transmission that has already been discussed by Fisker, instead of the Karma's single-speed. Who will write the code to make it all work together is still unknown, but that is what QTWW might be left with.
          JeremyD
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          @LTAW the NINA will have a multi-speed transmission? Wow, now that is interesting! Gives me hope that NINA will be very different than the Karma... awesome!
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Possibly, but it could also be a mechanical issue. I've not read anything about that - and I've read about a lot of different little issues. Do you have a link?
          PR
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          The change in drivetrain is why I still have hope for the Nina. Fisker needs to focus on nailing the Nina 100%.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          From your link: "I drove the white car in reverse for a few feet during my test drive and it felt like the car was hopping up and down a bit as it was backing up. Not sure what the exact issue was. Software is a possible culprit since the car does not have a transmission and reverses by turning the electric motors backwards and you don't want to allow the driver to tap the full 400 HP when you are in reverse, so the computer probably limits the power in reverse and this is an artifact of that limitation." Sure, that seems like a reasonable assessment, but that was a pre-production model, and well before any of the current software updates. Any other links to customer cars, so we can see if there's a pattern?
          Doug
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I've read about odd/jerky throttle response particularly in reverse. I would assume that has do to with drivetrain software which presumably came from Quantum.
          JeremyD
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Very much looking forward to what project NINA produces... hopefully an efficient, practical vehicle this time.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "The drivetrain for the NINA is a lighter-spec version of that in the Karma. One drive motor instead of two... and the multi-speed transmission that has already been discussed by Fisker, instead of the Karma's single-speed." Also, the BMW-sourced ICE instead of the GM unit...
          Doug
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I appreciate the info. I never had much faith in Quantum Technologies (and as a physics guy, I'm annoyed by their presumptuous name alone). Given they missed their performance goals with Q-Drive, Fisker is likely better off bringing that work in-house. Looking forward to seeing what they can do with the Nina.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "Fisker is likely better off bringing that work in-house" Really? It took GM many years of hard work and they've been building cars for 100+ years. I wouldn't be surprised if we get another long series of delays.
          Doug
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          http://fiskerbuzz.com/forums/Thread-More-Fisker-footage
          Doug
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          @PR "The change in drivetrain is why I still have hope for the Nina. Fisker needs to focus on nailing the Nina 100%." I too have hope for the Nina, but Fisker still needs to reasonably deliver on the Karma. If they fail at that, their reputation is toast. Suppliers like Quantum and Visteon may have missed the mark, but the buck stops at Fisker.
      Ernie Mccracken
      • 3 Years Ago
      By the time they actually come out, they will be obsolete.
      RC
      • 3 Years Ago
      Somehow the karma already feels outdated to me. I guess that's what happens when a product fails to meet its demand on time, the lust for it just fades away.
      Nick From Montreal
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't dig all the negativity around Fisker. First, many people said they would NEVER deliver anything. Then, now that they are delivering, every single little problem is seen as a sign that they are going bankrupt. They have raised more than 1$Billion -- they're going to be fine. Both Fisker and Tesla have what it takes to make it through the startup period. As EV fans we should sheer them when they reach another milestone. Guess you can't please all the people all the time...
        JeremyD
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nick From Montreal
        My only beef with Fisker is the Karma's crappy efficiency numbers (MPGe 52 sucks). I couldnt care less about price, and I think the car's sheet metal is a work of art. Performance is ok i guess. I hope they hit one out of the park with project NINA though! So I would say I am still very excited about Fisker.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nick From Montreal
        It is strange that USA Today mentions "cash flow problems", when Fisker just finished raising another $133 million in private capital... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-20/fisker-automotive-expands-latest-financing-round-to-133-million.html?cmpid=yhoo
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          The ABG update makes it clear - it was a bad article, with bad info.
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