Remember the 16 Fisker Karma plug-in hybrids that were burnt in the wake of Superstorm Sandy? They're not the only bad news for the luxury green automaker: more than 300 Karmas, worth over $30 million, were sitting at Port Newark when it flooded and got destroyed. In all, over 10,000 vehicles were damaged at the port when the waters rose. In other words: fire bad, water really bad.

Reuters is reporting that the Karma shipment was insured and Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher said the company expects "no impact from a business or a financial point of view." He also said that Fisker will be able to meet US demand despite losing the 300 vehicles.

As for the fire – which started in one car and then spread to nearby vehicles – Fisker has issued a statement saying that it was a problem with a low‑voltage Vehicle Control Unit, "a standard component found in many types of vehicles and is powered by a typical 12V car battery," in a Karma. Because the cars were "submerged under five to eight feet of seawater for several hours," salt in the water corroded the VCU, Fisker said. The Karma's advanced lithium-ion batteries did not play a role in causing the fire.
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Port Newark Incident – Fisker Automotive Follow-Up Statement

On October 30, following Superstorm Sandy, several electric hybrid and non-hybrid cars from a variety of manufacturers caught fire and were damaged in separate incidents after flood waters receded at Port Newark (NJ), including 16 award-wining Fisker Karmas. Port Newark is one of the largest vehicle handling facilities in the U.S., and many thousands of vehicles of many makes and models were severely damaged as a result of the unprecedented flooding.

After a thorough inspection witnessed by NHTSA representatives, Fisker engineers determined that the damage to the Karmas was the result of the cars being submerged under five to eight feet of seawater for several hours that left corrosive salt in a low‑voltage Vehicle Control Unit in one Karma. The Vehicle Control Unit is a standard component found in many types of vehicles and is powered by a typical 12V car battery. This residual salt damage caused a short circuit, which led to a fire that heavy winds then spread to other Karmas parked nearby. There were no explosions as had been inaccurately reported. The Karma's lithium-ion batteries were ruled out as a cause or contributing factor.

The Fisker Karma meets or exceeds all safety requirements for markets in North America, Europe and the Middle East. Fisker Automotive is the leading manufacturer of luxury Electric Vehicles with extended range and will continue to develop and market vehicles that deliver an unmatched combination of style, performance and economy.


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  • 148 Comments
      Willis CurryFans
      • 2 Years Ago
      Are these really going to be destroyed or are they going to be sold & resold on craigslist & ebay for the next 10 years?
      peter_nixon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hey "Grendal" Seriously, could you have possibly chosen a more pathetic name????? sounding almost EXACTLY like the dumb, super-sized lizard with Bad breath from "Beowulf", Grendel????
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @peter_nixon
        In the ages past of lore arises the story grim, upon the stone bridal path as the ancient feelings loom... The vapor trails of fear give way as Grendel walks within the mist, restored to life, by witch's wistful muse; as languid screams, now rise! The growls in darkened wood now echo, as the hunt has but begun. What scathing witches have restored, had been vanquished by one man alone. As death now stalks the bridal path and blood pours out the darkened night, the warrior long dead within his crypt. Who then, will deliver us from this ancient fright?
      finzenchrome
      • 2 Years Ago
      All I can say is it's bad karma to name a car "Karma".
      lad
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice looking car; lots of problems as indications that testing was not well-planned and made a proper priority. Now they get to bury the bodies of the first group and hopefully build a more reliable version. priority one in my mind is to reduce the weight by tossing the ICE.
      licwinko
      • 2 Years Ago
      the 2nd car maker i had in the last two days - Suzuki is also going to stop making cars in the U.S. and filing chapter 11
      ceomjsp
      • 2 Years Ago
      obumma im in the burglar alarm business and am glad he was voted in if the votes counted at all (i did not vote for him) i know more people will be out of work because of the taxes and obumma careand crime will increase and my alarm business will grow with it.. I wish i was in the gun business more people are buying guns these days than anything om CHRISTmas day more people got guns than just about anything else 2 yrs ago
      luigi.tony
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm sure Obama will pump millions more into this failed GREEN car company. The workers in Finland building these will be happy Obama will be sending more money.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @luigi.tony
        Wow. Really? You really are crazy. Since peter nixon/knodoctor/thor petersen/troll is the same person as luigi tony, here is an example of him faking a conversation with himself!! Everyone check this out! This is the same guy. And he responds to himself! You are truly a looney toon that you need to use yourself to get credit for your crazy beliefs. Please go see a doctor immediately. By the way, Tesla is probably going to get Motor Trend Car of the Year too. And you were so wrong about Romney too. Are you ever right about anything? Except in your own head.
        peter_nixon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @luigi.tony
        unfortunately, you are right. The damned fool (and the even bigger fools that voted for the clown) will also bail out Government Motors when (not if!) it goes bankrupt again, and also TESLA, which has a good chance of going broke well before that.
          tump
          • 2 Years Ago
          @peter_nixon
          You can test for mental illness, Peter. It's not that complicated.
          Pdexter
          • 2 Years Ago
          @peter_nixon
          Just wow. You have some issues buddy.
      peter_nixon
      • 2 Years Ago
      So will this loser Fisker claim that they actually SOLD these 300 POS? LOL...
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @peter_nixon
        Interesting that you were kicked off an article but not completely removed. You are still a troll.
        BK
        • 2 Years Ago
        @peter_nixon
        Dude- what ISN'T a POS in your little world. Just started on this site and Ivan already see how our balanced well thought out replies are so very appreciated by the rest of the readers. Please tell us so we can all go buy what you drive. (Probably an '88 Gran Am with fake V8 or Turbo badge or something).
          BK
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BK
          Please excuse horrible new smartphone keyboard. You get the idea though.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BK
          The peter nixon/knodoctor/luigi tony/thor petersen/troll has said that he drives a BMW 7 series. He gets about 20 MPG and is proud of it. He is definitely a mentally ill person. Check out his conversation with himself earlier in this thread.
          peter_nixon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BK
          BK: are you slow or what????? I drive theh EXACT OPPOSITE of your favorite POS. I drive a MAGFNIFICENT 7, the 1998 BMW 740iL I bought 7 years ago at 10% of its price new, AND have lived in AUTAOMOTIVE VALHALLA that you and your gang of losers here could not even BEGIN to understand even if I spent 24 HOURS educating you about it.
        peter_nixon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @peter_nixon
        yeah, savage, mindless greenies, so apparently you are not just gaga over Tesla, even the UTTERLY UNACCEPTABLE FISKER is good for you? What UTTER, MINDLESS LOSERS.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @peter_nixon
        And now you're having conversations with yourself too, luigi tony/peter nixon/knodoctor/thor petersen/troll.
      chromal
      • 2 Years Ago
      "The Lithium Ion batteries did not contribute to the cause of the fire." And yet, I've not heard of any vehicles without Lithium Ion batteries that burned in that NJ port after the storm surge flooding. Apparently, a Prius did burn.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @chromal
        Here's a picture of Hyundais that burned. http://blogs.cars.com/.a/6a00d83451b3c669e2017ee49c95e5970d-800wi
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @chromal
        "In a separate incident during the storm, three Toyota Prius hybrids at Port Newark also were damaged by fire. “One Prius out and out burned, the others just kind of smoldered and got really hot,” Cindy Knight, a Toyota spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview on Thursday. The smoldering cars included a plug-in hybrid Prius and a conventional hybrid Prius. The car that burned was a plug-in. That’s three cars out of the 4,000 Toyotas that were at Port Newark during the storm, including more than 2,128 plug-in or hybrid models. According to Ms. Knight, the fire “likely started because saltwater got into the electrical system.”
        Spiffster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @chromal
        You were misinformed. Several other non-hybrid cars caught fire too.
      karlInSanDiego
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not unlike Browns Lane fire taking out the unsellable D types and XKSS. Made the ones that survived even more rare, but at the time, it was probably a relief. The other cars, machinery, and building must have been a disaster for everyone at Jag. I still want Fisker to survive, despite their ungodly weight, heady price, and unfortunate choice of name for the Atlantic.
      preferred user
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fisker had that shipment insured for $30,000,000 divide that by 300 and you get 100k per vehicle that should cover the approximate retail value sales expense etc less the deductible of course.
      canuckcharlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can Fisker re-reclaim the wood used on trims?
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