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Fisker has found itself struggling with a range of technical issues shortly after the launch of the company's Karma extended-range EV, from faulty battery packs to pesky software updates. According to one former employee, that's no surprise. According to GigaOM, the worker in question reportedly left the company because of a push to get the production model out the door to satisfy Department of Energy loan requirements even though the early cars had a range of technical issues that still required sorting. The report lacks much in the way of specifics, and the unnamed defector now works for another EV startup sells the Coda, leading some to question the individual's motives.

Fisker, meanwhile, says quality and customer satisfaction are top priorities for the company, and that the automaker has been quick to solve any issues that have surfaces thus far. Owners have access to a 24-hour VIP help line in the case of a technical problem.

While the DOE awarded the company a $529 million loan in 2009, Fisker has only been able to draw on a portion of the funds due to delays in the Karma development.

*UPDATE: It looks like the "former employee" designation is incorrect, as both Fisker and Coda have confirmed to AutoblogGreen that this man never worked for them. In fact, the San Francisco Chronicle identifies him as "John Hoffman, store manager for Coda of Silicon Valley" and someone who used to sell Fiskers. So, it seems Hoffman developed his opinions on the sales floor and does not appear to have inside information. Fisker has also released a statement on the matter, which you can find here.
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FALSE AND MISLEADING INFORMATION ALLEGATIONS THAT FISKER RUSHED THE KARMA SEDAN TO MARKET

A number of blogs and media websites have recently published (and repeated) several false and misleading statements and allegations that Fisker Automotive rushed its Karma sedan to market even though it was not properly developed in order to meet certain milestones related to Fisker's Department of Energy loan. Those allegations are absolutely untrue.

The San Francisco Chronicle identified the source of this information as John Hoffman, the store manager for Coda of Silicon Valley. Other sites, such as GigaOm, identified the source only as a former Fisker employee that now works for Coda. Given that Mr. Hoffman formerly worked at a Fisker retailer and now works at a Coda dealership and because the timing and nature of these statements are similar to those made in the San Francisco Chronicle article, we believe that the unidentified "insider" quoted by GigaOm and other sites is, in fact, Mr. Hoffman.

To be clear, Mr. Hoffman has never been employed by Fisker Automotive. He was briefly employed by a Fisker retailer. In any case, Mr. Hoffman was not privy to any business information from Fisker concerning the development of the Karma sedan and/or Fisker's financing. Accordingly, Mr. Hoffman has no basis for his false and misleading claims.

These false published statements by Mr. Hoffman are having a negative impact on Fisker. Fisker is ready to take appropriate legal steps to protect its interests if necessary. However, at this point, we are in the process of contacting Mr. Hoffman and Coda of Silicon Valley and hope that they will cooperate to set the record straight.


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