According to unofficial reports from the Fort Bend County Texas Fire Department, an unplugged Fisker Karma sedan had caused a fire in a home in the area resulting in about U.S.$100,000 structural damage costs.
The photos from the fire scene showed that the electric vehicle was almost consumed by the fire but the lithium ion battery pack remained intact. While the fire investigators have already identified the cause of the blaze, the investigation continues on the full extent of the fire.
According to Chief Fire Investigator Robert Baker, “Yes, the Karma was the origin of the fire but what exactly caused that, we don’t know at this time.” He further related that the driver arrived home riding the Fisker. He pulled into the garage and about three minutes later, the car was up in flames. The electric vehicle was not plugged in when the car was engulfed in flames, but the Karma battery remained intact. The owner related that right before the fire, there was a smell of burning rubber in the vehicle.
Baker further added, “The car was brand-new. He still had paper tags on it, so it was sixty days old at most.” It was later found that this particular Karma was a post-recall vehicle bought back in April.
The resulting damage to the garage was assessed as substantial, which spread to the second floor of the home. No injuries resulted from the incident and the home was apparently new, with the owner just moving into the residence. The damage was estimated at about U.S.$100,000, without the cost of the two other vehicles damaged in the garage which were a Mercedes Benz SUV and an Acura NSX.
The investigator quipped, “This looks just like golf cart fires we have down here.” He was referring to the extent of the fifty or so golf cart fires this suburban Houston area experiences annually.
He did observe that the fire scene was crawling with about fifteen engineers from the company finding the cause of the fire in the Karma. The official statement of Fisker Automotive is as follows:
Last week, Fisker Automotive was made aware of a garage fire involving three vehicles, including a Karma sedan, that were parked at a newly-constructed residence in Sugar Land, Texas. There were no injuries.
There are conflicting reports and uncertainty surrounding this particular incident. The cause of the fire is not yet known and is being investigated.
We have not yet seen any written report form the Fort Bend fire department and believe that their investigation is continuing. As of now, multiple insurance investigators are involved, and we have not ruled out possible fraud or malicious intent. We are aware that fireworks were found in the garage in or around the vehicles. Also, an electrical panel located in the garage next to the vehicles is also being examined by the investigators as well as fire department officials. Based on initial observations and inspections, the Karma's lithium ion battery pack was not being charged at the time and is still intact and does not appear to have been a contributing factor in this incident.
Fisker will continue to participate fully in the investigation but will not be commenting further until all the facts are established.
Is this Karma or what?