The Fisker Karma is the automotive embodiment of both Marilyn Monroe and Rodney Dangerfield. Marilyn because it's damn sexy, with lots of wonderful curves in all the right places, and Mr. Dangerfield because, well, it gets no respect, no respect at all. There are good reasons for both of these personifications.

While it is, indeed, drool-worthy in the "looks" department, its environmental credentials suffer from less-than-mediocre EPA ratings, earning it some amount of scorn from the "green" crowd. Also, because the company received DoE financial support, it has achieved the political-punching-bag status of the Chevrolet Volt, and so every little thing that goes awry gets amplified. So much so that newly-hired CEO Tommy LaSorda has just fired off a missive beseeching customers not to worry, every little thing will be alright. Just to make sure, the company has dispatched a 50-member strong "SWAT team."

Of course, not everyone is down on the Fisker Karma. Case in point (besides the Bieb)? Bradley Hasemeyer of Translogic fame. He recently had the opportunity to spend some quality time with the tech-ambitious hybrid and, as is his wont, accentuates the positive in a freshly-released video. As well as reminding us of its Monroe-esque qualities, Hasemeyer goes over the gubbins that make this car special – twin electric traction motors, turboed 2.0, and a 20-kWh battery pack comprised of A123 lithium nanophosphate cells – and enthuses over the plush interior with its nice ergonomics and environmentally-sensitive touches.

Walking Driving us through how these ingredients all come together to make a compelling case for a forward-looking luxury vehicle, he leaves us feeling just a bit better about the Karma and a company that probably deserves a bit more respect than what it's currently getting. Hit the jump for Translogic's footage of the Fisker along with a copy the aforementioned memo from the desk of Mr. LaSorda.



Show full PR text
PRESS RELEASE

Fisker's Commitment to Quality – An open letter from Tom LaSorda

Quality and customer satisfaction are the top priority for Fisker Automotive.

With any new technology there will be a need for initial updates and refinements and we have demonstrated the ability to quickly resolve them on a case-by-case basis. In addition, Fisker's 24 hour VIP contact centers, retail network with a proven customer service track record and our comprehensive vehicle warranty are all designed to give you, our customers, complete peace of mind.

It is important to understand that despite widespread publicity of a service issue with a car belonging to Consumer Reports last week, Karma performed exactly as it was designed to. The on-board diagnostics detected a fault and entered a protection mode that shut the car down to protect other components. We are sorry for the inconvenience this caused the customer, but we focused on getting the car back to them as swiftly as possible.

All identified parts have been returned to Fisker for a full engineering analysis.

I have put in place a "SWAT Team" with over 50 dedicated engineers and other consulting professionals to help identify this and other unique customer issues with the Karma. New software has been developed and installed in a large fleet of vehicles and they are being driven round the clock for testing and validation. As soon as this procedure is complete we will send updated software out.

I am personally involved in all these initiatives and am committed to delivering complete customer satisfaction and peace of mind.

Sincerely,
Tom LaSorda, CEO


ABOUT FISKER AUTOMOTIVE, INC.
Fisker Automotive is an American car company, founded in 2007, committed to producing electric vehicles with extended range (EVer) that deliver uncompromised responsible luxury. The company is designing and developing the world's first line of premium electric plug-in hybrids representing the company's firm belief that environmentally conscious cars need not sacrifice passion, style, or performance. Fisker Automotive is a global company that is redefining luxury for the modern sports car buyer. For more information on the brand and the Fisker Karma Sedan, please go to http://fiskerautomotive.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ok, so I think that the solar panel on the roof is a little gimmicky, especially for a 100k car that will be parked in a garage all the time. Solar panels on your house/garage would generate a lot more energy. But I wonder if the panels help to reduce the vehicle cabin temperature when parked in the sun because it is recuperating sunlight as electricity rather than absorbing it all as heat... Maybe the current panels at only 15% efficiency don't have much of an impact, but I think that NASA/DARPA grade panels at 40% efficiency could definitely have an impact.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Every little bit helps. And it is not like a big 'waste' . . . it is a $100K compact car, it is the definition of waste.
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @Spec depends on your definition of waste, or taste....
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        I think solar panels on the roof are an excellent application of the technology. It won't help you drive down the road, but like the Audi's can run a small fan when you are parked in the heat, and depending on how it is wired up can prevent the battery going flat.
      Santosh Kumar Pandey
      • 2 Years Ago
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      Spiffster
      • 2 Years Ago
      BTW Tom LaSorda... Who are you lining up to sell Fisker to? The sale of Chrysler to Fiat appears to be this guys only notable accomplishment. I have never run a car company, but some of Chrysler's moves in the past looked like bad ones, and turned out to be bad ones... Could I have done any better? Based on those observations... probably. Fisker has potential, dont ruin it LaSorda...
        marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spiffster
        @Spiffster "I have never run a car company" But hey, feel free to give advice to a guy who spent his whole working career in the auto industry. But as the other Tommy Lasorda, said " if you start worrying about the people in the stands, before too long you're up in the stands with them" !
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @marcopolo
          @Spiffster Look, I don't think you really understand the background of Chrysler, so I'll try to be forbearing and explain. Tom LaSorda is a highly competent auto-executive. He has the misfortune of having spent much of his career a Chrysler during it's bleakest times. If you had run a car company, you might appreciate Tom LaSorda's attributes. Without Tom LaSorda, Chrysler would have disappeared years ago, creating a huge loss to the American Auto industry, (and a huge loss to the American taxpayer). Tom LaSorda managed to achieve a disciplined retreat and salvaged what he could. Without Tom LaSorda, a retreat, would have turned into a catastrophic rout! It's easy to criticise, but as the other Tom Lasorda, said " it looks real easy from your chair in front of the TV...but then, that's why no one pays to see you play! "
          Spiffster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @marcopolo
          Obviously you didnt understand what I meant by the statement you quoted... "I have never run a car company" IE: so take my comment for what its worth (not much). Thanks for making the obvious more obvious though :) BTW I wasnt giving him advice, I was making an observation based on his past performance... further running a company into the ground, attempting to burden tax payers with a bailout, and subsequently selling the company to Fiat. (A match made in heaven) He is certainly no Mullally, but I wish Fisker the best of luck...
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @marcopolo
          @Spiffster, "I don't really need to bother myself with the background of said company... " Well, I can't complain about your honesty! How can you argue with someone who boasts, they don't need to know what they are talking about, to give an opinion!?!
          Spiffster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @marcopolo
          I will add that as an american consumer I dont really need to bother myself with the background of said company... I see crap products, I avoid crap products... not an overly complicated principle. In any case the performance of a company is a direct reflection of its CEO. Now, under new leadership, Chrysler is doing much better, in a very short term no less... hmmmm. To say the best he could do was to facilitate the sale of a company, sounds like a total cop-out. Like I said though, we can agree to disagree...
          Spiffster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @marcopolo
          Agree to disagree... : ) Like i said, take my comments for what they are worth. In this particular situation, no one pays me to "play" in this industry.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spiffster
        I'm afraid Fisker Auto is too far gone at this point. I'm concerned by the sales indications we hear, anything from 50-250 cars total and 6-700 million dollars spent. it's hard to say what their margins are and how much salaries and facilities drain but the impression I get is that it's 99% certain it will collapse.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          Sorry, Dan. But I just got the latest info on Fisker sales and their future financial health -- and they've sold a LOT MORE than that (around 500) -- especially if you count all the existing (but as yet unfilled) orders on Karmas that have already come off the assembly line and are on their way to dealerships. In fact, their financial future actually looks pretty good. In fact, I'm 99% certain you will eat your words a year from now.
      marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great article ABG! But, why am I not surprised to discover that Sebastian has not indignantly denounced the misinformation contained within his last snide attack on the Fisker-Karma? Turns out his trusted "Industry Insider" is in reality little more than a probationary store-man/salesman, who worked for a very short period for a Fisker retailer ! As far as being a "whistle-blower" goes, he's a complete fraud ! He never possed any knowlege! So where's Sebastian's outrage at being duped by this little creep? One phone call to Fisker in order to verify the source, would have been sufficient to reveal the lack of merit in these 'claims', and the unreliable character of Sebastian's quoted "whistle-blower". But then, it wouldn't have been such a salacious little tit bit to beat up and sensationalise, in order to get all the Fisker haters so rabidly het up, would it? I expect that standard of journalistic integrity from Fox News, not ABG!
        Domenick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @marcopolo
        I believe the post to which you allude (http://green.autoblog.com/2012/03/15/translogic-drives-fisker-karma-through-firestorm-of-controversy/) was not actually written by Sebastian. The story was sourced from a GigaOm piece (http://gigaom.com/cleantech/fisker-electric-karma-was-pushed-to-market-before-it-was-ready/) whose reporter spoke firsthand with the individual in question. Since publication, the identity of the purported whistleblower has become known and the post has been updated to reflect the fact that he was neither employed by Fisker or Coda.
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Domenick
          @Domenick I'm aware that neither article was written by Sebastian. (The by-lines sort of give that away!). However, as Editor-in-Chief, such stories are Sebastian's responsibility. I would have imagined that having published such a derogatory story, Sebastian would be anxious to publish an equally prominent story about the truth? A small alteration, to an old story, buried in past pages, is hardly adequate. Or, are only unfavourable items about Fisker, newsworthy?
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      The vast majority of Fisker's customers seem to be extremely pleased with their purchase.
      Larry 4 Fisker Auto
      • 2 Years Ago
      Love my Fisker Karma. Getting 74 MPG and over 1800 miles on it. BTW - Great review Bradley H.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Larry 4 Fisker Auto
        which number is yours Larry?
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Larry 4 Fisker Auto
        Thanks for the info Larry! I have my own pet theory that folks who drive their Fiskers with around 75 percent or more of their miles in EV mode, will see MPG's very similar to Chevy Volt numbers. And that regardless of the MPG rating for driving with the engine running, the time spent in electric mode will make Fisker's very fuel efficient, just like the Volt. Have you been to voltstats.net? If you know what percent of the miles you have driven are in EV mode, it would be interesting to compare your observed MPG to what MPG Volt owners are seeing for the same percent of miles driven in EV mode.
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          The mileage results on voltstats.net really show how efficient driving electric can be. Now GM just needs to do some work to improve those MPGcs numbers and improve its overall efficiency.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          paul --- yes, the results on voltstats.net really shows how great the MPG and MPGe the Volt can get, regardless of what the Charge Sustaining MPG is. I've been over those numbers on that site lots of times, looking for the correlations in the data. There seems to be a nearly direct correlation between %EV miles, and MPG, and MPGe. But the Charge Sustaining MPG numbers seem to have little to no correlation to MPG or MPGe. In fact, the highest MPG and MPGe results tend to have some of the worst MPGcs numbers. Especially whenever %EV is greater than about 70-75%. My theory from combing through those numbers is that the Fisker's lousy charge sustaining MPG will have very little impact on the overall MPG and MPGe for the Fisker. This is what the numbers on voltstats.net are currently showing for the Volt, so I can't see why it wouldn't be the same for the Fisker. If the numbers work out the way I'm hoping, it makes the Nina much more attractive to me personally.
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Larry 4 Fisker Auto
        Do you take into account the electricity you use when you calculate the milage?
          throwback
          • 2 Years Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          Only the most dyed in the wool EV enthusiast will do that. My buddy just knows his electric bill is up "slightly" for his first 2 months of Volt ownership. he does however know he has filled up twice in 2 motnhs!
      philmcneal
      • 2 Years Ago
      @ Letstakeawalk you better be happy after dumping 6 figures on a car
      • 2 Years Ago
      Okay the whole mountain mode comparison to the Volt doesn't make sense. You're acting like the Karma got it right and the Volt got it wrong. The Karma only makes sense if you started at the top of the Hill first and regened the battery to take on the next hill. What kind of logic is that? The Volt say we don't know where your going to start driving from so you get control it with the mode that makes most sense. Not to mention the Volt has the same brake regen feature as the Karma, when you go down a hill or mountain you can put it in a mode that as you let of the gas it is more aggressive in the brake regen to slow your decent. Shame on you for not knowing this or just padding the review of the Karma.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Whatever your first impressions are of the Fisker Karma, its plug-in capability, exclusive cabin accoutrements, and overall lavishness definitely stimulates conversation about its perceived merits or drawbacks. And really, isn't that the ultimate goal for a product being marketed as the world's most interesting car? http://www.safeauto.com/blog/post/2012/03/08/The-Fisker-Karma-Best-Car-Ever-or-Your-Worst-Nightmare.aspx
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Im glad that it work even if it's a complicated car. Do the ice engine propel the wheels in some occasion, LOL. ?
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