Fisker To Replace Karma Battery That Quit During Consumer Reports Testing

Consumer Reports couldn’t even get their $108,000 Fisker Karma test car through its first round of tests before its battery went kaput. And now, Fisker says they’ll be replacing said defective parts in the luxury electronic vehicles.

Fisker Automotive says they’ll provide free replacements of the main high-voltage electric-drive battery on all 2012 Karmas. Its battery supplier, A123 Systems, discovered a manufacturing defect in some battery cells that could result in “battery underperformance and decreased durability.”

Just two weeks ago, our wise elder siblings at Consumer Reports had barely begun putting their vehicle through its paces on the test track when it sputtered out after 180 miles. They usually buy and test around 80 cars a year, and this was the first time they had a car that was undriveable without having completed even the most preliminary tests.

It looks like our experience was no fluke. Fisker is including this replacement as part of an “enhanced customer care” program that also extends the warranty for 2012 North American cars from 50 months/50,000 miles to 60 months/60,000 miles. The package involves “a complete battery replacement at no cost for all affected 2012 MY Fisker Karma owners.”

In its press release, Fisker also said that a “next-generation” software upgrade will be released in the next few days.

After the dealer installed a new battery, Consumer Reports‘ Karma has been running and charging fine, but since it’s a defect that has been identified in the battery, a replacement should guarantee they can test the car to its fullest ability.

Fisker to replace Karma’s drive batteries [Consumer Reports]