Fisker and its high-voltage battery supplier, A123 Systems, have identified a fault in the battery packs fitted to the Karma sedan and is beginning an initiative to replace all affected vehicles in the coming weeks.
The issue involves a manufacturing defect in some of the prismatic cells produced by A123 Systems at its Livornia, Michigan facility, which could result in “battery underperformance and decreased durability.” Fisker believes this is the same issue that affected the Consumer Reports Karma and was discovered by Fisker’s “Quality SWAT Team.”
Around 640 Karmas are likely affected, although Fisker has only seen the issue manifested in a “handful” of its vehicles. Roger Ormisher, Fisker’s director of global communications, tells Wired that as soon as A123 Systems can produce the fault-free packs, “we will install them as quickly as possible.” Naturally, the replacements – which A123 says will cost the battery supplier approximately $55 million – will be free of charge to existing Karma owners.
Fisker is also extending the warranty of current Karmas from 50 months/50,000 miles to 60 months/60,000 miles in North America, with European Karmas getting a warrant extension from 48 months/100,000 km to 60 months/100,000 km.
Fisker will begin alerting affected owners in the coming days, and also plans a vehicle software update to improve all aspects of the Karma – from powertrain to infotainment – later this week.