Fisker: Overheating Cooling Fan Resposible For Fire
Fisker concluded its investigation into the fire that consumed one of their Karmas in Woodside, CA. According to a Fisker statement, neither the Lithium-ion battery pack, nor “new technology components, engine component packaging or unique exhaust routing of the Fisker Karma” were responsible for the conflagration. Rather, it was a lowly cooling fan, that, well, overheated. In the guessing game for the fire’s cause, TTAC’s independent accident investigator Ronnie Schreiber came closest when he suspected a low voltage unit.
A recall of approximately 2,400 Fisker Karma has been initiated.
Fisker statement follows in full length:
“Fisker has completed a detailed investigation into the roadside fire involving a Fisker Karma sedan on August 10 in Woodside, CA.
The investigation conducted by Fisker engineers, working with an independent fire expert from Pacific Rim Investigative Services Group, has identified the root cause of the incident.
The investigation located the ignition source to the left front of the Karma, forward of the wheel, where the low temperature cooling fan is located. The final conclusion was that this sealed component had an internal fault that caused it to fail, overheat and start a slow burning fire.
Fisker has today voluntarily elected to conduct a recall with respect to this cooling fan unit. The company is working with the responsible supplier and this recall campaign is not expected to have a material financial impact on Fisker.
Fisker has already contacted its retailer network. Customers are expected to be contacted by retailers, ahead of their receiving formal notice from the company by mail, to have the cooling fan replaced with a unit that meets the required specifications. At the same time an additional fuse will be installed for added protection.
In their investigation, independent experts established that the incident was not caused by the Lithium-ion battery pack, new technology components, engine component packaging or unique exhaust routing of the Fisker Karma.
“We are committed to responding swiftly and decisively to events such as this to ensure total customer satisfaction,” says Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Henrik Fisker. “This incident resulted from a single, faulty component, not our unique EVer powertrain or the engineering of the Karma. As this situation demonstrates, Fisker Automotive is dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to address safety and quality concerns.”
The owner of the car involved in the Woodside incident, Mr. Rudy Burger commented:
“I have been incredibly impressed with the way Fisker has handled this incident. I have personally started seven technology companies and know from direct experience that the US needs more innovative companies of this type, especially in the automobile sector.
“Fisker is a great company and one that I am personally planning to invest in. I look forward to getting behind the wheel of my next Fisker.”
Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.
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