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DATE News (chronologically)
03/16/12
Automotive
LaSorda: Fisker Karma shut down to protect itself during magazine's test
Fisker Automotive's new CEO said a Karma luxury sedan owned by Consumer Reports shut itself down during testing to protect itself.

"The Karma performed exactly as it was designed to," Tom LaSorda said in a letter sent to customers. "The onboard diagnostics detected a fault and entered a protection mode that shut the car down to protect other components. We are sorry for the inconvenience this caused the customer."

A Karma that Consumer Reports purchased for $107,850 died on March 7 during speed calibration testing.

Consumer Reports said in a blog post that its Karma had been returned with a new battery pack. The highly influential consumer magazine said the battery light on the car's dashboard lit up during the test drive and the car would not restart after it was parked.

Fisker has benefited from the publicity generated when actor Leonardo DiCaprio was handed the first Karma last summer and pop idol Justin Bieber received one as a gift this month.

But it also had to recall over 200 Karmas last year and briefly halted sales in January over a software issue.

LaSorda said in the letter dated March 13 that he has put in place a "SWAT team" of 50 engineers and other consultants to identify any problems or other issues experienced by Karma owners. He said new software has been developed and installed in a large number of cars that were being tested "round the clock."

"As soon as this procedure is complete we will send updated software out," he said.

Fisker previously said it had more than 400 Karma sedans already on the road in the United States.

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