Fisker Automotives, the builder of the plug-in hybrid 2012 Karma, has recalled all its units because of a possible coolant leak issue. Each of the units has a sticker price of $100,000 and only fifty units have been sold.
The coolant issue is a result of the improper installation of hose clamps to the vehicle’s battery array. This causes the coolant to leak and may result in a fire. When coolant enters the battery compartment, an electric short can occur that can result in a fire. According to the company, there have been no reported incidents with the Karmas it has sold to the public.
To address the issue, the company would replace the whole battery pack of the Karma. The company has already built 239 Karmas, with fifty already in use by purchasers. All these vehicles would be replaced.
The Fisker Karma is manufactured at Valmet Automotive in Finland. The Environmental Protection Agency has rated the fuel economy of the vehicle at 52 miles per gallon or 4.5 liters per hundred kilometers at all electric mode. In gasoline mode, the vehicle has a rating of 20 miles per gallon. Despite its good exterior, the Fisker Karma is considered as a subcompact.
The vehicle gets its power from a couple electric motors that produce a total of 403 hp. The electric motors get its fuel from a 22kilowatt lithium ion battery built by A123 systems. It also gets its power from a 2.2-liter gasoline engine that turns a 175 kW generator. The unique design of the Karma is the mating of a generator to the motors that also recharges the battery through the mechanical driving force of the wheels. This design was made by Quantum Technologies, called the Q-Drive hybrid drive train.
An additional power source of the Fisker Karma is the solar paneled roof created by Asola Advanced and Solar Systems GmBH. This solar generator also helps in recharging the battery array aside from assisting in the cabin’s climate control system. The solar array is able to produce half a kilowatt of power a day and adds up to five miles of range distance per week. As an add-on, the company can provide a solar panel installation to allow the home to charge the Karma entirely off the grid.
Before the recall, the company reported that the company has received a total of 1,300 orders for the Karma. It is also one of the priciest models of electric vehicles in the market today and was first unveiled in the 2010 Paris Motor Show.