Like pretty much any driver, we've had our share of car trouble over the years, both with vehicles loaned to us for review by automakers and our own private rides. What we haven't experienced is being the first media outlet to plunk down over $100,000 for a luxury plug-in hybrid, only to have it konk out before we even put 200 miles on it.

That "honor" goes to Consumer Reports and their brand new Fisker Karma, which broke down during calibration tests, just a few days into CR's ownership period. After the dashboard flashed a warning, the driver stopped to see what was wrong, and then couldn't get the PHEV into gear again. Self-repairs (i.e., let's leave it alone for an hour and see what happens) didn't work and the manual was no help, so the nearby dealer sent out a flatbed truck to haul the Karma away. As CR writes:

We buy about 80 cars a year and this is the first time in memory that we have had a car that is undriveable before it has finished our check-in process.

The Karma's problems are widespread. It has been plagued by a variety of problems, including two recalls, one for a software glitch and one for battery issues, following a long delay getting the car to market. Owners commenting on the FiskerBuzz forum are also reporting various issues. Not exactly behavior that leads to a "Recommended" rating.

Fisker Karma Information

Fisker Karma

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