Even before Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the US, there was no doubt the storm would wreak havoc for automakers (especially luxury brands) in the Northeast, but it looks like Fisker may have taken the biggest, most spectacular hit.

According to Jalopnik, 16 Fisker Karma models waiting to be shipped off to dealers at Port Newark were flooded during the storm surge, and while it isn't clear how it happened, some of the cars ended up catching on fire.

This isn't the first (or second) time a Fisker Karma has caught fire, but it is a different scenario that led to the fires. While the first two instances may have been related to a hot engine compartment, the storm-damaged Karmas were sitting in a lot full of other cars when they were flooded with sea water. Since none of the vehicles were being charged and it's unlikely that any had recently been driven, the best guess of a cause for these fires is some sort of short caused by the batteries coming in contact with salt water.

Fisker has released an official statement about the fires (read it below) saying the company will investigate the situation, but as of yet, there is no additional information.
Show full PR text
OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM FISKER:

It was reported today that several Fisker Karmas were damaged by fire at the Port of Newark after being submerged in sea water during Superstorm Sandy. We can report that there were no injuries and none of the cars were being charged at the time.

We have confidence in the Fisker Karma and safety is our primary concern. While we intend to find the cause as quickly as possible, storm damage has restricted access to the port.

We will issue a further statement once the root cause has been determined.


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  • 67 Comments
      chromal
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm very curious to hear more about the huge lots in Newark, NJ, where they offload imported cars (and presumably load exports). I was looking at it on Google Earth last night-- 9ft ft above sea level. This is the same lot that held the last production SAABs for 18 months during the Bankruptcy proceedings. Fortunately, they were finally moved on and out a few months ago, or the last production US SAABs might have met watery ends.
      gearhead
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really did have some high hopes for this car. It just seems like it could have used a little more fin tuning to get it right. Although that would have required more $$ and I don't think anybody(government or private investors) wanted to send any more money towards this. Still think its a gorgeous car and would love the chance to own one, as long as the kinks were all worked out.
      • 2 Years Ago
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      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Motortrend has a good picture of the damage. http://wot.motortrend.com/damaged-goods-fisker-karmas-ignite-in-lot-after-hurricane-sandy-285025.html There were at least seven to ten cars that didn't ignite. You have wonder whether it was all of them or just a few that actually went up and the others were collateral damage. They were all lumped together. Also, in the background there are at least a hundred Chevy Sonics.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
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      • 2 Years Ago
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        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        Do you have any evidence of this explosion? How do you know it had anything to do with the Fiskers? It may have or it may not.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
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          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Meh. I saw the pictures now. Yeah, Fisker is kinda screwed. I kinda hope there were some Sandy flooded Volts and Leafs so we can see how they did.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
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          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          I agree, Spec. I'd also like to see some other makes and how they do submerged in salt water baths like that. I know you design to be safe, but that's also why you test and this seems like it might be an interesting test.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          There were about a hundred Sonics parked next to the Karmas.
        mawhalen53
        • 2 Years Ago
        You can't get it wet, as in, you can't submerge the car in salt water. Apples and watermelons.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mawhalen53
          No proof of explosions. Fire definitely, explosions, I wouldn't rule them out. I'd wait for a witness or an investigation team to confirm that.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mawhalen53
          I just read the jalopnik article and their informant/witness did say he saw them explode. It was focused in one area and there are a bunch of other Karmas parked all around the ones that caught fire.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mawhalen53
          [blocked]
      Jaclock LaGlock
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good Riddance.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jaclock LaGlock
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      • 2 Years Ago
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        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        Says John Blaze. LOL. Salt water and electronics don't work too well together.
        gasolinepopsicle
        • 2 Years Ago
        Maybe they should change the name to the Fisker Flare... Not even water can put these things out!
      BipDBo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sandy attackes first with water. Karma strikes back with fire. Karma looses. Karma always looses with fire.
      Maddoxx
      • 2 Years Ago
      As I've been saying all along, these cars may look cool but they are slow not that efficient, bad engineering and are a danger to the public. I wonder how they conned investors into a billion dollars, they almost conned the government into half a billion. You folks on the bandwagon for Fisker should jump off or risk bursting into flames.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      That is probably great news for Fisker. +16 sales to insurance companies.
      Bobafet
      • 2 Years Ago
      The cause of the second fire was traced to a faulty cooling fan whose bearing could fail and short -- that fan was recalled in August a week after that fire. The first fire happened under similar circumstances (fan running after parking) though the car was consumed so origin can't be known for sure. The 'hot engine' compartment is just a rumor started by an ex GM engineer who peaked under the hood and thought things were packed "tight" (like all modern cars). Fisker did the thermal modeling and analysis to ensure the engine compartment does not get too "hot". The fact checking on all these automotive blogs is way sloppier than any automotive company could hope to be!
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bobafet
        That's because it's much more fun and exciting to make stuff up based on rumor and innuendo. It gets a lot more interest and attention too.
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      The storm surge was 10-14 ft. The other vehicles on the same dock may not have burned, but I bet they are also totaled.
        LEONARD
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Any car is done if it's under salt water sooner are later just remember New Orleans
          Peter
          • 2 Years Ago
          @LEONARD
          uhm... http://jamesaevans.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/topgear-002.jpg
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