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Old 07-25-2012, 08:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Town Hall FAQ released

Fisker just released a new Town Hall FAQ. Will try to copy and paste responses here shortly.

EDIT: here it is:
Command Center
Q. Are there any plans to improve the Command Center functionality and interface?
A. Yes, we are currently working on improving the command center functionality and interface on all current Karmas.

Q. Will the daytime/nighttime screens come back (White/Black background)?
A. Yes, we are planning to implement Day/Night modes (White/Black contrast) in the next model year. This update will be available to all current Karmas.

Q. I have 615 so why do I still get a blue screen during some reverse efforts?
A. In rare occurrences, a blue screen may briefly appear when transitioning from Reverse to Drive.

Q. Is there any possibility the command center hardware will be replaced/upgraded in the future?
A. Fisker Automotive will continue to research ways to improve performance and responsiveness. There are no plans for hardware upgrades for existing Karmas.

Q. Why is the Command Center slow and unresponsive?
A. Similar to your desktop or laptop, your Karma possesses its own computer, the Command Center. This system needs to fully boot-up before any actions are taken. If the system does not fully load before you begin using the system, you may experience delays. For example, if the “Agree” button is pressed as soon as the vehicle is turned on, this command may not register until the screen has fully loaded. Please wait at least 5 seconds for the system to process your selection.

Also, when selecting other screens such as Audio, Phone, Navigation, or System there may be a slight delay in the initial actions. However, once all of the programs have loaded, you can toggle between different screens quickly.

Q. Are there plans to update or overhaul the Navigation system?
A. Currently, we do not have any plans to update the Navigation System. We will continue to investigate ways to improve system performance.

Q. Is there any way to mute the Navigation voice guidance?
A. Currently there is no option to mute the voice guidance on Navigation.

Q. Will software updates be provided to existing customers free of charge?
A. Specific warranty issues that require flash updates will be performed under the normal terms of the Fisker warranty. We strive to continuously improve our product features. In the future, software upgrades which improve functionality, navigation or other features may be made available and can be installed at the request of an owner by an authorized Fisker Retailer for a fee.

Gas Engine in Stealth Mode
Q. While driving in Stealth mode, the engine has twice turned on by itself, even though the car shows Stealth. Why did this this happen and is this common? It did not turn off even after hitting Sport and Stealth again.
A. It is normal operation for the gasoline engine to run when the vehicle is in Stealth Mode. There are 3 conditions when the engine will operate in Stealth Mode:

1.Anytime the vehicle is re-fueled or the fuel door button is pressed, the engine will run to perform a fuel-evaporation emissions test.
2.The engine will run at set intervals to keep all internal engine parts lubricated.
3.The engine will run anytime the high voltage battery requests a charge. Even with plenty of battery power remaining, the high voltage battery may need a specific cell charged to balance the pack so it will engage the internal combustion engine. This is a normal function of the Power Management System.

Solar Panel
Q. When will the Solar Animation Screen become functional?
A. The solar panel animation screen in the Command Center is still being developed. Due to the graphics interface and the amount of CIU resources it required, we are redesigning how this information is displayed in the future.

Agree Screen
Q. Is it possible to remove the “Agree” screen altogether? Other vehicles just show a warning screen, but do not require the customer to click “agree”?
A. No, we are legally obligated to display this disclaimer. We are exploring options to automatically advance through this disclaimer.

Bluetooth
Q. The Bluetooth connectivity is noisy and the performance is very poor. When will the Bluetooth sound quality improve?
A. We are investigating the issues which are causing poor Bluetooth performance.

Q. Would a new software update allow the display of songs that are playing on the Bluetooth interface?
A. New software would not add this functionality as the limitation is with the Bluetooth protocol stack.
Cooling Fan Runs During Charging

Q. Can I plug in the Fisker Karma while the fan is still running?
A. The recommended practice is to let the car go to sleep (wait 2 minutes, PRND light turns off) before plugging in to the charger. Plugging in to charger while the fan is running will prolong the fan running time and reduce the efficiency of the charging cycle but will not harm any components.

Q. Why does the fan turn on while my vehicle is charging?
A. This is normal operation and is required to keep electronic components at an optimal temperature during charging.

Q. Does the cooling fan run off the 12 volt battery or the High Voltage Battery?
A. The cooling fan is powered by the 12 volt battery. If the 12 volt battery falls below a certain threshold, then the Intelligent Battery Sensor will active the Auxiliary Power Module . This module takes voltage from the high voltage battery and steps down the voltage to charge the 12 volt battery.

Charge High Voltage Battery in Sport Mode
Q. Does Fisker plan on giving users the ability to ‘recharge’ the battery while driving in Sport like we experienced in the Road Show?
A. Our Fisker engineering team deemed it more efficient for the high voltage battery to be charged via a charge station rather than being charged by the gasoline engine/Sport Mode. When the HV Battery was being charged in Sport Mode the engine was required to operate at a higher RPM which decreased fuel economy and increased emissions. The current program allows for higher operating efficiency and lower emissions while still allowing the vehicle to extend its range.

Mirrors
Q. My side view mirrors have been replaced twice and they tried to fix it a third time. They will not retract or deploy manually or automatically. When will this be resolved?
A. The issue with the mirrors burning out and having to be replaced has been resolved in the 6.28 software upgrade.

A123 Battery Exchange
Q. What is the status of the battery exchange program?
A. The program is on track to begin in Q4 of 2012 once supplies of new battery packs are available.

Q. How do I know if my battery is affected, and when will it be replaced?
A. We are in the process of determining the specific VINs that are affected by the A123 battery exchange program. We will be proactively replacing all battery packs throughout the year. You will be notified later this year if your vehicle is affected.
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Town Hall FAQ released

Good to hear all karmas are getting the model year updates. Meh for possibly paying for updates. I guess at some point it's to be expected though.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default RE: Town Hall FAQ released

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnOutsider
Good to hear all karmas are getting the model year updates. Meh for possibly paying for updates. I guess at some point it's to be expected though.
This was my response exactly. Logically I know it's not a sustainable model for Fisker to keep giving away software feature enhancements. The cost for each visit has to be pretty significant, especially since some SW changes take hours. I get it that while reliability and safety issues are considered warranty purely feature/function upgrades will need to be paid for. Doesn't mean I have to like it though I wonder how many dealerships will "throw in" some of these things for free during regular service as a goodwill gesture.

I also thought this was intersting and news to me:
The engine will run anytime the high voltage battery requests a charge. Even with plenty of battery power remaining, the high voltage battery may need a specific cell charged to balance the pack so it will engage the internal combustion engine. This is a normal function of the Power Management System.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default RE: Town Hall FAQ released

I think you guys will notice the points that I found interesting/disappointing (they're in red). Fisker should give us back the mobile on-the-go recharge option. We get that it can be noisy and perhaps less efficient (but not necessarily so, for example, at cruising speeds the car only uses around 70hp to maintain speed, running the engine at 100hp and using the extra 30hp/22kw to charge the battery over a long hour+ drive would hardly be less efficient!).

And that Navigation, come on, the system is worst in class. Even the free iphone app WAZE is much better! Fisker should sign a licensing agreement with them. Even that would be an improvement.

And on the Command Center, their new Head of Engineering Gary basically said that the system is underpowered - the processor is too slow (this after previous reports that the hardware was more than adequate). Fisker should do a retroactive upgrade to make their most loyal customers/brand ambassadors happy, especially since during the roadshow last summer, they said they were improving CC performance (which turned out not to be the case). I'm not asking for Tesla's infotainment system (though that would be awesome!), I'm just asking for something that works and works reasonably fast.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default RE: Town Hall FAQ released

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalGuy
Fisker should give us back the mobile on-the-go recharge option. We get that it can be noisy and perhaps less efficient (but not necessarily so, for example, at cruising speeds the car only uses around 70hp to maintain speed, running the engine at 100hp and using the extra 30hp/22kw to charge the battery over a long hour+ drive would hardly be less efficient!).
I would love to see this too. Even if it's a very light trickle charge, like 5 miles recovered for every hour of ICE operation. Unfortunately, I doubt this is ever going to happen. Fisker's EPA numbers were low and disappointing enough as it is. My guess is that losing this capability was at least in part to bolster EPA numbers and in part to address NVH issues that the auto press was killing them on. Changing it at this point for 2012 MY Karmas is almost certainly a non-starter, and I would be surprised to see it change at all.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default RE: Town Hall FAQ released

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonePalmBJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnOutsider
Good to hear all karmas are getting the model year updates. Meh for possibly paying for updates. I guess at some point it's to be expected though.
This was my response exactly. Logically I know it's not a sustainable model for Fisker to keep giving away software feature enhancements. The cost for each visit has to be pretty significant, especially since some SW changes take hours. I get it that while reliability and safety issues are considered warranty purely feature/function upgrades will need to be paid for. Doesn't mean I have to like it though I wonder how many dealerships will "throw in" some of these things for free during regular service as a goodwill gesture.
Apple found a way to make it work for iPod users... perhaps Fisker can get wireless updates going (at least for non-critical pieces). That would save some dealer time (and money)
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default RE: Town Hall FAQ released


Fisker is making a strategic error if they start charging for software updates as implied in their Town Hall FAQ. Why?

1) Charging any "reasonable" amount (< $200) for a software update will not significantly increase revenue for Fisker (that's roughly $0.2M total assuming 1,000 paid updates).

2) It cheapens the Fisker culture, which until this point has generally lived up to its "no compromises"/no nickel-and-diming our customers philosophy in my opinion.

3) It increases the gap between what new owners get and what current owners got for being early adopters, which will not help customer loyalty.

4) It misses the opportunity to show passengers in our Karmas the best of what Fisker has to offer! I assume that most of the interest in and knowledge of the Fisker Karma every day comes from the 1,700 current owners driving the car around like ambassadors. Why not do everything possible to ensure that your proud customer base shows the world the best of what the Karma can do, rather than make us pay for this "privilege"? Interface bugs, non-working remote cabin pre-conditions, non-functional solar screen, etc. are embarrassing weaknesses with the current software that in theory can be fixed with future software updates. Do you really want to your customers to wonder if we will have to pay for these updates if they "improve functionality"?
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default RE: Town Hall FAQ released

Quote:
Originally Posted by drliu

Fisker is making a strategic error if they start charging for software updates as implied in their Town Hall FAQ. Why?

1) Charging any "reasonable" amount (< $200) for a software update will not significantly increase revenue for Fisker (that's roughly $0.2M total assuming 1,000 paid updates).

2) It cheapens the Fisker culture, which until this point has generally lived up to its "no compromises"/no nickel-and-diming our customers philosophy in my opinion.

3) It increases the gap between what new owners get and what current owners got for being early adopters, which will not help customer loyalty.

4) It misses the opportunity to show passengers in our Karmas the best of what Fisker has to offer! I assume that most of the interest in and knowledge of the Fisker Karma every day comes from the 1,700 current owners driving the car around like ambassadors. Why not do everything possible to ensure that your proud customer base shows the world the best of what the Karma can do, rather than make us pay for this "privilege"? Interface bugs, non-working remote cabin pre-conditions, non-functional solar screen, etc. are embarrassing weaknesses with the current software that in theory can be fixed with future software updates. Do you really want to your customers to wonder if we will have to pay for these updates if they "improve functionality"?
I think Fisker does not want to have cars come in every few weeks when they release a software update, my guess is that they will update cars during routine maintenance; to the latest versions. If an owner wants the car updated before the maintenance date then they will be charged a fee. Navigation and non-advertised features/improvements etc will be paid upgrades.

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Old 07-26-2012, 03:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default RE: Town Hall FAQ released

There needs to be an element of "we screwed up by not giving you the full featureset we promised, so not only will we make good on those, but we'll also give you free updates for any other enhancements above and beyond what we originally promised" (e.g. better navigation system).

Fisker didn't even offer us discounts on the Atlantic, which I think Tesla did on the Model S for early Roadster owners.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default RE: Town Hall FAQ released

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalGuy


Fisker didn't even offer us discounts on the Atlantic, which I think Tesla did on the Model S for early Roadster owners.
this is not 100% true but I do no want to go off topic in this thread

Fisker has to make money as well, people bringing in their car every few months for a software update; which occupies a significant amount of a tech's time to add " additional features" is a tough proposition. I can understand for features that were advertised that do not work (i.e. Solar Screen) but for additional features and navigation updates it is industry standard to charge for them.

Karma owners should be happy that Fisker pays for maintenance during the warranty period, this is not the case with Tesla.
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