consumer reports fisker karma

Consumer Reports Fisker Karma Returns After Servicing

Late last week, we reported that the Fisker Karma purchased by consumer advocacy magazine Consumer Reports(one that the watchdog group notes that they paid six figures for, stressing “this is not a press car”) embarrassingly broke down during initial testing, flashing a warning light when the vehicle was stopped on a test track before failing to shift into any other gear but park or neutral.

In describing the situation to readers, Consumer Reports didn’t pull any punches- explaining that in all their years of testing vehicles, none had failed on such a key issue at such an early stage, saying:

“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 Fisker Karma dealer had to come to the Consumer Reports test track with a flatbed truck, pick up the dead vehicle and service it for eventual retesting. That was reported March 9th, and today, Consumer Reports told readers that the Fisker Karma they’d purchased had been repaired, and that the vehicle is back in their possession for testing.

In a follow-up post, Consumer Reports briefly explains their experience with Fisker Karma following the unfortunate incident, including what initially caused the vehicle’s sudden death on the test track:

“The dealer’s repair invoice says the problem was “duplicated repeatedly.” A “fault was found in the battery and inverter cable. Both were replaced as a unit.” In other words, we now have a brand-new lithium-ion drive battery pack provided under warranty, though likely costing as much as a small, fuel-efficient car. “

The magazine continues:

“Throughout the process, the dealer’s service department kept us up to date on the progress. And they were courteous enough to wash the car and charge it up before shipping the luxury sedan back to us.”

Consumer Reports says testing will begin anew, and it will be interesting to see how the vehicle rates this time around- but as one commenter notes in the post’s comments, the break down situation is probably “a marketing director’s worst nightmare.”