Fisker Karma fire under federal investigation

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Investigators working on behalf of the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently launched a probe into the causes of a garage fire in Texas that destroyed a Fisker Karma, a plug in electric automobile sold by Fisker Automotive Incorporated for more than $100,000. The fire took place May 3 at a private residence in Sugar Land, Texas. This fire is one in a series of similar incidences involving electric cars powered by lithium ion batteries. In one instance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration performed crash tests on a Chevy Volt caught fire and it caught fire three weeks later. Another investigation in North Carolina determined an electric car was not responsible for the fire it was involved in. In the most recent fire involving a Fisker Karma, Texas fire investigator was quoted as concluding that the car was responsible for the fire, but Fisker has denied this claim, citing as evidence the fact the battery was intact and not being charged at the time of the fire. The United States Energy Department granted Fisker, an automaker headquartered in Irvine, California, more than $500 million in loans to develop two models of electric vehicles: the Karma, and the Atlantic, which has not yet been made available to the public. The carmaker’s line of credit was suspended in 2011 after the company missed scheduled production deadlines for the Karma.