By on May 8, 2012
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““This looks just like golf cart fires we have down here… I’ve worked homicide scenes with less secrecy. There have to be about 15 engineers down here working on this one.”

So spoke Fort Bend County, Texas, chief fire investigator Robert Baker, in the course of blaming a brand-new Fisker Karma for a house fire that did “over $100,000″ worth of damage to a brand-new, completely tasteless stucco-pimple monstrosity of an “upscale home”.

According to AutoWeek, the Fisker Karma burned to the ground in the garage, immolating the Mercedes-Benz SUV and Acura NSX which were also trapped in the sad, monstrous affront to common decency and taste which featured cues from approximately six different periods of global home architecture. Fisker issued a boilerplate press release which indicated that they were looking into the cause of the blaze itself but offered no explanation as to why the house’s second-story window had some bizarre half-fence around it. I mean, is that supposed to keep children from falling out?

Fisker’s press release craftily mentioned the presence of fireworks in the garage, leaving the reader of said release to make the connection between drunken house-fire shenanigans and the kind of person who buys a crib like this and then fills it with fireworks. It’s possible that the house contained a bidet, and that the owner of the house was confused by said bidet, but Fisker wisely didn’t mention this, choosing to focus instead on the idea that an electrical panel in the area may have been incorrectly installed.

The owner could not be reached for comment, primarily because nobody from TTAC or Autoweek wants to go out to “the lake” and talk to people on pontoon boats all day looking for him.

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72 Comments on “Fisker Karma Fails To Completely Burn Down Stucco McMansion...”


  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Sad to hear about the NSX.

  • avatar

    A bidet in the house? Sounds like something French must have been going on. And the French do have a special affinity for Texas. (I’m not kidding. Two top French economists (a couple) once visited my parents on Cape Cod, then took a bus from there to Niagara Falls, and from there to Texas.)

    Maybe this is Sarko’s revenge.

  • avatar
    redliner

    We get it. The house is tasteless, clearly designed to impress rather than to be cohesive. A mix-and-match of lowest bidder materials “assembled” in a builder-spec neighborhood that literally popped up (pooped out?) overnight.

    What exactly does that have to do with the car fire in question?

    On another note, who’s actually surprised? A first year low volume car with relatively new and untested technology, designed by a start-up car company on a budget . If that son’t sound like a recipe for disaster then i don’t know what does.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Sir, that depends on whether or not you believe that the Divine Presence interferes in our daily affairs.

      • 0 avatar
        redliner

        If that where so, I think you would be the first to know. LOL Its a miracle YOUR house hasn’t burned down, especially when you consider all the other homes you may have wreaked.
        Just teasing, don’t take me to serious.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        Given what I know of development in the Greater Columbus area, I would be careful about looking down on other people’s taste in “upscale housing”.

        “We’re dealin’!”

      • 0 avatar
        Nick

        I don’t believe in a divine presence, but this is a start. Now, if the entire Trump family perishes I’ll really become a believer.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      Being a cheapo barn maybe the outlet was wired with 16 gauge.

      I remember fairly expensive tract housing in Castle Rock, Colorado suffering from collapsed roofs in winter because the original design was meant for parts of Arizona that don’t see much snow.

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        Indeed; here in CO you may not need that steeply pitched roof 9 years out of 10, but that 10th year will see a March or April wet snow dump that can crush trees. It’s one reason why bringing full winter gear along during an early spring camping trip is de rigeur out here; one tragedy saw a father lose 2 sons when their backcountry excursion turned deadly from a spring blizzard.

        From what I’ve seen, the largest light weight wood buildings can be found in California, where aisle and bay divided barns approach dirigible hangar sizes. Having no snow load requirements allows for some impressive, airy structures.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      “What exactly does that have to do with the car fire in question?”

      I think it tends to support my theory that bad taste is actually flammable.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. Sparky

      Vellum Venom… Home Edition!

  • avatar
    aristurtle

    Between this and the flammable glue in the engine bay of the F458, I’m starting to think that the likelihood of a car spontaneously lighting on fire is directly proportional to how much it costs.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    From the Fisker press release:

    “As of now, multiple insurance investigators are involved, and we have not ruled out possible fraud or malicious intent.”

    Are they suggesting that their unhappy customer burned his new home and two other cars in order to escape hybrid lemon ownership?

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Well maybe they’re implying that the owner was in a bit of a financial pickle and decided to solve his problem with an impromptu BBQ. If that’s the case it does make a lot of sense. Starting a fire in a attached garage will get you insurance money for your car(s) and house, the two best insured assets most people have.
      Jack’s rant ’bout poor taste and the lake also implies that a colorful “off shore” boat might be parked on a trailer just outside of the garage.
      Nota bene, I’m not implying that that’s the case, just exploring the train of thought.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Maybe it was a special kind of lightning…but could he have at least been out for a drive in the NSX at the time? What a shame to waste a beautiful car like that. Love the tirade about oversized new houses that have zero architectural cohesiveness or style. Bigness sure does not make up for lack of taste, that’s for sure…Maybe some of these “architects” should take a look at the gorgeous homes in Newport, RI.

  • avatar
    stars9texashockey

    @redliner: Absolutely nothing. But it might get Baruth a few occupy Wall St. readers.

  • avatar
    Mr. Sparky

    Welcome to Texas Jack!

    Home to Big Hair and Tacky Houses! (I live in one, so I know and love them!)

    “sad, monstrous affront to common decency and taste which featured cues from approximately six different periods of global home architecture”

    The offically name for that is “Old World” here in the Lone Star State. It’s been the rage since 2005 or so. At least every other house in my neighborhood has a turret, because really who doesn’t love a turret?

    “but offered no explanation as to why the house’s second-story window had some bizarre half-fence around it. I mean, is that supposed to keep children from falling out?”

    The houses that don’t have turrets have a “juliet balcony”. I believe the primary purpose is to give you something to steady your shotgun when your neighbor talk trash about how big his turret is.

    • 0 avatar
      LBJs Love Child

      Finally, a TTAC commenter who speaks my language. Turrets? Hell yeah! But I want twin fifties mounted in mine.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Turret? Anybody with a moat and drawbridge? What do you do if your neighbor refuses to turn down the stereo, calling the cops seems very “un-lone-star”. So I’m presuming that you head over to Home Depot, buys material and start constructing a trebuchet, battering ram or, time and budget allowing, a belfry. The added perk of said equipment would be that it’s at least really “old world”.

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. Sparky

        Moat and drawbridge… Well, you see the only thing that makes a turret even funnier is the tiny postage stamp lots that we put them on.

        A couple of house do have a nice castle looking balcony over the front door worth of hot oil for peasants (or door-to-door salemen).

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @Mr. Sparky

        Wow, just awesome in a – for a weak ass European as my self – absurd way. Old world would imply something that actually exists in Europe, or did so at some point in time, suburban castles is something you don’t get a lot of in Europe and I suspect that if there ever where they where not built with a wooden frame.

        I think I just got a new purpose in life, I’m going to work, scrounge, beg, borrow and steal until my mid 50′s, then I’m going to build a über McMansion with a moat, drawbridge, turrets and infinipool on the smallest plot imaginable, I’m thinking 60000 square feet of house on a 5000 square feet lot. It WILL be awesomely absurd.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Sugar Land Starter Castle? I want mine to have a moat with alligators and a trebuchet too!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trebuchet

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        No fair posting a wiki link to a trebuchet – if you dont know what this awesome seige engine is, you dont deserve to have it! If your going all old-world then those turrets need some ballistae

    • 0 avatar
      daveainchina

      @Mr. Sparky great comments. Had me laughing.

      I love the part about steadying your shotgun while your neighbor talks trash.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    The story on the jump states the battery is intact – but I’m left wondering how many more hits can A123 take like this. They looked so promising five years ago and they just can’t seem to catch a break. If it was the Fisker, this could be the death kneel for the new company. The AutoWeek story says the Fort Bend County officials are saying the fire did start in the Karma.

    Have to see how it all plays out, but does not bode well for electrification in general.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Not necessarily. Think how people would respond if gasoline was just introduced…”you want me to drive a car with 20 gallons of highly explosive fuel 4 feet from my a$$?”…

      • 0 avatar
        Silvy_nonsense

        That’s exactly what happened when the internal combustion engine was introduced. Steam car advocates called the new competing technology “explosion” engines in an attempt to scare people away from them.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Both A123 and Fisker’s balance sheets are weak. A123 has had deals fall through and a serious battery pack recall. For example, A123 (symbol AONE) is trading at just $1.14 a share on the NASDAQ is under official investigation for Federal Securities violations and fraud (announced today). The Fisker Karma battery recall (see the Consumer Reports issue) is going to cost Fisker an estimated $55 million, and in statements A123 stated they have the capital to cover the expenses. The SEC and key investors disagree.

        I expect A123 to drop below $1 a share this week and face NASDAQ delisting. Moving to the pink sheets is the kiss of death.

      • 0 avatar
        CRConrad

        @Silvy: It’s still called that in at least one language I speak. It’s just descriptive: In a four-stroke six-cylinder engine at 5,000 RPM, fifteen thousand explosions occur every minute.

        (Yeah, yeah, I know: “Actual detonations are called ‘knocking’ [or was it \'pinging\' in English?] and bad for the engine; it’s just very rapid combustion.” But language — or technology — wasn’t so precise back then; “explosion” is what engineers of the time themselves called it.)

  • avatar
    nrcote

    Fisker issued a boilerplate press release which indicated that they were looking into the cause of the blaze itself but offered no explanation as to why the house’s second-story window had some bizarre half-fence around it. I mean, is that supposed to keep children from falling out?

  • avatar
    nrcote

    > Fisker… offered no explanation as to why the house’s
    > second-story window had some bizarre half-fence around it.

    That’s called a french balcony.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    “the Fisker Karma burned to the ground in the garage, immolating the Mercedes-Benz SUV and Acura NSX which were also trapped”
    NSX, originally read that as MDX for some reason. pity.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    A couple points – per the linked article, the car was not plugged in, the owner had just arrived home. And they say they have 50(!!) golf cart fires a year in the county. Seriously??

    Insurance companies are going to have a field day with these – owning an electric car is going to be like owning a trampoline in terms of what it does to your home owner’s insurance rates.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Sounds like a case of… (removing sunglasses) “bad Karma.”

    • 0 avatar
      H Man

      YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!………

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Wouldn’t that be bad, “car”-ma.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        OK, new rule; If commenting on an article written by Jack Baruth and Mr. Baruth thinks what you say is a joke, it is a joke. Agreed?

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @Educator(of teachers)Dan

        wooooh woooooh, no Bill Mahr “New Rules” stuff when your doing impressions of ginger “actor”/disney animatronic reject David Caruso. You wouldn’t want Horatio Caine to think you’re some kind of america hating pinko liberal. He’ll tell Jerry, and Jerry Bruckheimer will never tolerate that, the guy that spends half of the pentagons budget – and, coincidentally, all of GMs marketing budget – is not somebody you’ll want as an enemy. Especially when said guy has the required godlike powers to make Shya Labeouf a star.

  • avatar
    jjster6

    Why hasn’t this been blamed on Chevy Volt yet?

  • avatar
    JD-Tippit

    Well y’know, those can’t do teach, those who can’t teach, teach gym.

  • avatar
    redseca2

    According to FEMA, there are an average of 258,000 vehicle fires each year in the USA. This is the story of one of them.

  • avatar
    millmech

    I have a big deck…

  • avatar
    wsn

    Just wondering, where is the image of the tasteless house? The flash seems to have a still image on my computer while playing.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Fort Bend is THE local center of tasteless McMansions. While most are cheaply built, few are inexpensive. There are a lot of nice ranch homes on large lots there, but those are hard to notice next to the monstrosities. In addition to bidets, urinals are becoming a popular upgrade.

    Texas didn’t invent the tasteless McMansion, but we keep building them, recession or not. They start at about 500k on th small side (4000 sq. ft. )

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    That doesn’t look like stucco, its that fake spray-over-foam fucco crap that they use on big box stores.

  • avatar
    redseca2

    Perhaps the reason we drive a Prius or the new Fiat, when we have a car at all, in San Francisco is that is simply all we can afford after we buy a house.

    Here is pretty typcial for what $500K will get you today:
    http://zephyrsf.com/outer-sunset/3947-irving-st

    • 0 avatar
      Sinistermisterman

      At least $500k will get you a house, you should see Vancouver BC. $500k will get you a one bedroom apartment ***WITH PARKING SPACE!!!***

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      460k is really the cost of the house. The property they come on is likely about 60k per acre. In SF, or VC you pay several times that for a single floor of airspace! We have plenty of land, but you guys have natural and governmental restrictions on supply.

    • 0 avatar
      nrcote

      Buy the house. Then buy a Karma (or a Chevy Volt). Park the car inside the garage. Wait. Collect the insurance money. Rebuild.

      Don’t forget the whatever-you-fancy balcony above the garage when rebuilding.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      Hmmm. Needs paint. I should trot over and leave a bid on the front door.Nothing spruces up a house for sale like fresh paint.

  • avatar
    wallstreet

    Where is “Volts On Fire”?

  • avatar
    MichaelR1

    Newsbreak.

    Unconfirmed reports are surfacing that two males were seen in the area with cans of petrol, and acting suspiciously.

    Investigators are attempting to contact a Mr F Weber, also Sens. Grassley and Thune.

  • avatar
    MichaelR1

    New headline.

    FISKER KARMA FIRE UPDATE -

    “I told you so”
    industry insider tells all

    An unidentified source, who wished to remain anonymous, tells us

    “..I work in a large organisation with many links to the industry. In my day to day duties, as presidential candidate, I am informed about Fisker and all I can say is ha ha. This just shows how wrong the other guy is. Anyway, any normal person knows the Fisker is a piece of crap, you can hardly even fit a medium sized labrador on top.”

  • avatar
    shaker

    Good tune – BOC was one of my favorite bands back in the 70′s, and I was lucky to find one of the few women in Pittsburgh who agreed with me.
    No devil worship – just liked the music. :-)


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