2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma side view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma rear view

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma driving

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma driving

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma driving

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma driving

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma driving

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma charging

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma charging

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma grille

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma headlight

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma logo

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma chrome trim

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma wheel

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma wheel detail

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma side exhaust

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma roof

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma logo

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma badge

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma badge

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma engine

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma interior

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma front seats

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma seat detail

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma gauges

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma start button

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma instrument panel

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma climate control display

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma audio system display

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma phone connection display

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma navigation system

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma energy flow display

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma center console

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma center console

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma gear selector

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma door handle

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma door trim

  • 2012 Fisker Karma
  • 2012 Fisker Karma rear seats

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a formal field inquiry into the garage fire that may or may not have been started by a Fisker Karma sedan, Bloomberg reports. The conflagration, which destroyed the Karma, the garage and a few nearby vehicles, took place on May 3rd in Sugarland, Texas.

Claude Harris, NHTSA's director of vehicle safety compliance, said that the investigation is "ongoing," adding that "no determination has been made at this time." Until an official cause is isolated, we're betting there will be a good bit of he-said, she-said finger pointing in all directions...

It's worth noting that NHTSA has also been actively investigating the safety of battery packs used in the Chevrolet Volt after reports of fires in the wild and after NHTSA's own crash testing procedures.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 39 Comments
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good. Interested parties may have their own spin, but the NHTSA will have published results that anyone can see.
        EVnerdGene
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        come on. you guys are yankin' my chain today While yur waitin' fer the NHTSA report; post us a copy of the Frisker loan docs with the DOE remember the campaign pledge; "and I'll have the most tranparent administration . . . . "
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          The Fisker Conditional Loan Agreement is available online. I've quoted it many times - I suppose you've never actually clicked on the link? Here it is again: http://www.lgprogram.energy.gov/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/FiskerConditionalCom.pdf
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's coo. The more info the better.
      SVX pearlie
      • 3 Years Ago
      If the fireworks are a secondary cause, sure. However, if it didn't matter because the garage is on fire, fireworks or no fireworks, it's moot.
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      It was inevitable that the NHTSA should also conduct an investigation. It's also good that the fire is going to be thoroughly investigated by competent authorities. (Although the Volt investigation was a bit of a fiasco !) While the expert's work, everyone else should quietly await the outcome of their findings! Despite the fire, if Fisker produced a RHD, Sunset model, I don't believe I could resist buying !
        EVnerdGene
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Marco, Marco, Marco yet another oxymoron from you: authorities (meaning government) and competent in the same sentence
          Nick
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          It's amazing how trendy it has become to spit on "government". It's a relatively recent phenomenon that become fashionable around the time Barack Obama was swon in in 2008, when Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and countless other brain damaged individuals started making baseless, incendiary comments. Sure there is a lot of waste going on in a number of govt agencies, but let's not tear up the fabric of our democracy. Would you rather privatize the DMV ? The immigration dept? Social Security? Guess who'll be whining then..
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          @ EVnerdGene , Heh,heh, well spotted !
          EVnerdGene
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Nick said; "Would you rather privatize the DMV ? The immigration dept? Social Security?" -- immigration dept - 15 to 20 million illegal immigrants in this country ? Fine f'ing job. -- social security - teetering on bankruptcy? Where's the trust fund I've been paying into ? Fine f'ing job. -- DMV - OK, you've gotta be f'in with us Here's my favorite: DOE - $24 BILLION yearly budget, 16,000 gov'ment bureaucrats on the payroll; another 90-something thousand contractors on the payroll, started in 1977 with the mission of "reducing our dependence on foreign oil" ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha OMG - please tell me you're being sarchastic.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          "It's amazing how trendy it has become to spit on "government". It's a relatively recent phenomenon..." Oh, wait, you're serious? Let me laugh harder... http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/images/Adrian_Ash_19_9_07_image002.jpg http://vintageprintable.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Geopolitical-Satire-California-19th-century.jpg
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Especially considering how the local fire investigator can't tell the difference between an electrical fire ("This looks just like golf cart fires...") and a flammable fluid fire (Jon Bereisa's opinion).
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          @Nick, That's a very good observation. Part of the problem is that intuitions and politicians have become the targets of relentless press coverage of the most trivial kind and treated as celebrities, instead of symbols of respect and responsible authority. In days of yore, we portrayed leaders with to much adulation, covering up the defects. Then we began portraying institutions and leaders 'warts and all', but lately there's an obsession with 'warts', ignoring everything else. The quick sound bite, reducing difficult, long term problems, to a quick superficial slogan. Conspiracy theories and unrealistic expectations are all products of the instant world of media. Instant, international, but superficial, media creates distorted, erroneous impressions of fear and alarm. With so much sensationalism, it's impossible for leader's to explain complex policy decisions. 'Consensus' becomes just an agreement between those who can shout the loudest ! TV conveys the actions of modern Western troops fighting a war against a well equipped enemy whose technology maybe 21st century, but whose ideology is 12th century. The Western media and viewers, expect soldiers to behave like police. But soldiers are not 'peace-keepers' or policemen. A soldiers training teaches to dehumanise and hate the enemy. This allows a soldier to stop thinking like a civilian and kill without hesitation. This creates shock and horror back home! The expectation that Western soldiers should behave like police, is absurd. But the media creates unrealistic expectations. Truth, becomes a casualty, not because the leaders are liars, but because the citizens don't want to take the time to understand the complexity of the truth.
      dexbusy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Fisker already figured it out. It was the owners fault, right? Hopefully the sarcasm comes thru. The 3 stooges could run that company better..
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dexbusy
        Those damn firecrackers!
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          @LTW, It could be argued that it voided the conditions of the contract. But, if that wasn't accepted, and it would seem to be an 'unconscionable' argument in this case, then the argument must be to what degree did the fireworks contribute to the total damage.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Yeah, it is amazing what an insurance company can do to weasel out of things.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          You might be surprised what minor illegal acts can be used by an insurance company to void a policy. It might not absolve Fisker, but it might prevent the homeowner from being reimbursed due to negligence (improper storage of fireworks) on his own part.
        Spiffster
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dexbusy
        This is a higher profile indecent... it may be in the insurance companies interest to not try and dodge this claim... in any other case they definitely would try to play the "improperly stored fireworks" card. Definitely.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Fort Bend County chief fire investigator is probably regretting saying "“This looks just like golf cart fires we have down here...” Placing the blame on the battery straight away was certainly a major blunder. Then, Jon Bereisa jumped in with an off the cuff opinion, based on an incorrect assumption about the cooling systems of the engine bay, as well as an obvious ignorance of the non-flammable fluids used in the Karma. Hopefully, the investigation will reveal the true cause of the Karma fire, so that any possible part/design issue can be resolved for the safety of the owners.
        SVX pearlie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        More like the Owner is regretting not calling his lawyer *immediately*, and then allowing Fisker onto his property to do an extended "investigation".
          SVX pearlie
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          The Owner would, and did, cooperate with authorities. And his insurance company would have a stake. However, he has no reason to allow the OEM on his property, especially without an independent monitor to assure that the OEM doesn't disturb or tamper with things. For all we know, Fisker planted the fireworks.
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          SVX perlie, "More like the Owner is regretting not calling his lawyer *immediately*, and then allowing Fisker onto his property to do an extended "investigation". That's exactly what the owner did do ! However, his lawyer would have advised him that refusal to co-operate would have voided his insurances policies, and weighed heavily against his chances of action against Fisker. In the event of the cause being an arson attack, refusal to cooperate with the investigation, would raise questions about the role of owner. It would also give undue attention to the storage of fireworks. He was obliged to co-operate.
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          @ SVX pearlie "For all we know, Fisker planted the fireworks ". Y'know your blatant hatred of Fisker, is getting kinda weird ! In fact, Fisker have never accused the owner of anything. However, the owners lawyers took a very aggressive attitude toward Fisker. The possibility of arson, especially in a country with a record for arson like Fort Bend is automatic possibility in any investigation. There are at least 6 separate investigations in progress. Jeremy Gutierrez is at liberty to hire his own investigator. No one, certainly not Fisker, has accused the owner of anything, (except unlawfully storing fireworks).
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          "For all we know, Fisker planted the fireworks." Now that's some serious DERP.
        Jake
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        "as well as an obvious ignorance of the non-flammable fluids used in the Karma" --What about the gasoline? I figure that might be flammable....
          dexbusy
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jake
          LOL! of course the Fisker BS machine will now blame Exxon or Shell for "creating a gasoline mixture that combusts at too low of a temperature creating a situation our engineers could not plan for" adding "the owner should know better" Lol
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jake
          Letstakeawalk: What kind of coolant does the Karma? I would have figured propylene glycol, like GM uses in their LNF (the engine in the car) applications. Propylene glycol isn't very flammable, a 1 on the MSDS. Same as ethylene glycol.
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jake
          DEX-COOL is propylene glycol. It is MSDS 10444, not 10445. https://cglapps.chevron.com/msdspds/MSDSDetailPage.aspx?docDataId=74256 'OSHA Classification (29 CFR 1910.1200): Not classified by OSHA as flammable or combustible.' 'This material will burn although it is not easily ignited. ' It has a flammability rating of 1 on MSDS. It has an autoignition point of 400C and a flashpoint of 127C. So it is flammable. Fisker PR didn't get their MSDS number correct. A quick search would have shown 10445 it didn't say "DEX-COOL" at the top.
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jake
          Whoops, it's ethylene glycol, not propylene, as clearly stated on the MSDS sheet I linked!
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jake
          "...while many coolants contain glycol, a flammable compound, Fisker says it is "using DEX-COOL 50/50 coolant with a zero flammability rating, according to the Chevron Manufacturers Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) #10445." http://www.autonews.com/article/20120512/BLOG06/120519952#ixzz1vHGt4c5K
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jake
          I don't discount the possibility of a fuel/oil leak. However, Mr. Barisa singled out coolant for a clarification, "With that sort of heat, an oil, fuel or coolant leak can cause a risk of fire. A major ingredient in coolant is glycol, itself flammable." Obviously, he was unaware that the Karma used non-flammable coolant, which indicates his lack of familiarity with the Karma.
        Nick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Yeah, the fire "investigator" jumped to conclusions before any actual "investigating" was completed. Totally unprofessionnal.
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        @ Letstakeawalk Thank you, An excellent post, sensible and rational.
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      From the story: "Until an official cause is isolated, we're betting there will be a good bit of he-said, she-said finger pointing in all directions" Corrected: "EVEN AFTER the official cause is isolated, we're betting there will be a good bit of he-said, she-said finger pointing in all directions" There will be no single "official" report. There will be a report from the local fire department experts. There will be a report from Fisker's experts. There will be a report from the Insurance Company's experts. There will be a report from the car owner's experts if a lawsuit is filed by the law firm they hired. There will be a report from the NHTSA's experts. 5 sets of experts, 5 likely different reports. It will be a dual of the experts. All of whom will report their own interpretations of the evidence as they each are able to review it. Keeping in mind that some of the evidence was likely lost to the fire itself, and to the fighting of the fire, and when the car was moved out of the garage, etc, this will likely be a long drawn out affair that will likely be decided in court.
        SVX pearlie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @PR
        Indeed. Still more fodder for the fire.
          EZEE
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          I see what you did there... :)
          SVX pearlie
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Hey, there was nothing incendiary or inflammatory about my earlier post.
        EVnerdGene
        • 3 Years Ago
        @PR
        OK; I'll bite. "EVEN AFTER the official cause is isolated" So what is the official, real, actual, uncontestable, cause ?
    • Load More Comments