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Old 02-10-2018, 08:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dealer wants to sell Karma with broken CIU

Hi All, new to this forum and the Fisker world in general, but I've been doing lots of research lately as a 2012 Karma popped up at a local dealership and I'd love to buy it.

VIN is YH4K16AA7CA000341, and I spoke to the dealer that originally sold the car (Karma Ft. Worth - very nice people btw) who gave me all of the vehicles history. Pretty standard work had been done on the car, and they said it should be in good shape. All recalls have been taken care of and software is flashed to 535.

I test drove it yesterday and it felt great. Much bigger than my current BMW 335i, but it felt smooth and responsive nonetheless. I noticed one issue right away which was the navigation screen said something like "Nav not activated, contact your dealer to activate". I had also read about the issue with radio stations and other CIU settings being erased, so I set a few radio stations in the memory and came back today to see if they were still saved.

Unfortunately the radio stations were all reset when I turned the car back on. Per the tech at Karma Ft. Worth, that means the CIU electronics have to be replaced, which is $3200 parts+labor. The dealership would not budge on price (a little over 40K incl. taxes/tag/fees etc.) as that was a "rock bottom price", so I tried getting the $3200 added to my trade in, but they only went as high as $8K for my '08 335i convertible, which I could easily get $12K+ for in private sale.

I'm a little bummed out as I fell in love with the car, but I'm wondering if it's still worth pursuing and just getting the CIU replaced.

A few questions I'm hoping you can all answer:
  • Would I even have to replace the CIU right away if I don't really listen to the radio (mostly just phone audio) and don't plan to use Nav? If the CIU fully failed, would the car still work OK until I got the CIU replaced?
  • What are people's experiences with having a replaced CIU? Is it more likely that a CIU-related issue will come back on a car that has a history of CIU issues?
  • Is 3200 a reasonable price for the replacement? Not sure I have many options in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, but just curious.
  • I also noticed that the electric range was 47 when I turned the car on today (sales person showed me a pic of it charged to 50) and it dropped to 45 while I was just sitting in the car in park for 5 mins playing with the radio/settings. Is that indicative of a possible battery issue or is that normal?
  • How likely is it that the RDM would need to be replaced on this lower VIN car? The Fisker Ft. Worth tech told me he's worked on a couple hundred+ Karmas and has replaced 3-4, so that gave me some confidence, but I'm curious what this group thinks.

EDIT: One more question - I do not drive much as I work from home. I drive maybe 200 miles a month max. Is it OK to leave a Karma sitting idle for days and possibly weeks at a time? How much will that degrade the battery capacity/health over time?

Pic of the car attached. Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by mentat; 02-10-2018 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mentat View Post
Hi All, new to this forum and the Fisker world in general, but I've been doing lots of research lately as a 2012 Karma popped up at a local dealership and I'd love to buy it.

VIN is YH4K16AA7CA000341, and I spoke to the dealer that originally sold the car (Karma Ft. Worth - very nice people btw) who gave me all of the vehicles history. Pretty standard work had been done on the car, and they said it should be in good shape. All recalls have been taken care of and software is flashed to 535.

I test drove it yesterday and it felt great. Much bigger than my current BMW 335i, but it felt smooth and responsive nonetheless. I noticed one issue right away which was the navigation screen said something like "Nav not activated, contact your dealer to activate". I had also read about the issue with radio stations and other CIU settings being erased, so I set a few radio stations in the memory and came back today to see if they were still saved.

Unfortunately the radio stations were all reset when I turned the car back on. Per the tech at Karma Ft. Worth, that means the CIU electronics have to be replaced, which is $3200 parts+labor. The dealership would not budge on price (a little over 40K incl. taxes/tag/fees etc.) as that was a "rock bottom price", so I tried getting the $3200 added to my trade in, but they only went as high as $8K for my '08 335i convertible, which I could easily get $12K+ for in private sale.

I'm a little bummed out as I fell in love with the car, but I'm wondering if it's still worth pursuing and just getting the CIU replaced.

A few questions I'm hoping you can all answer:
  • Would I even have to replace the CIU right away if I don't really listen to the radio (mostly just phone audio) and don't plan to use Nav? If the CIU fully failed, would the car still work OK until I got the CIU replaced?
  • What are people's experiences with having a replaced CIU? Is it more likely that a CIU-related issue will come back on a car that has a history of CIU issues?
  • Is 3200 a reasonable price for the replacement? Not sure I have many options in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, but just curious.
  • I also noticed that the electric range was 47 when I turned the car on today (sales person showed me a pic of it charged to 50) and it dropped to 45 while I was just sitting in the car in park for 5 mins playing with the radio/settings. Is that indicative of a possible battery issue or is that normal?
  • How likely is it that the RDM would need to be replaced on this lower VIN car? The Fisker Ft. Worth tech told me he's worked on a couple hundred+ Karmas and has replaced 3-4, so that gave me some confidence, but I'm curious what this group thinks.

EDIT: One more question - I do not drive much as I work from home. I drive maybe 200 miles a month max. Is it OK to leave a Karma sitting idle for days and possibly weeks at a time? How much will that degrade the battery capacity/health over time?

Pic of the car attached. Thanks in advance!

Would not buy this vehicle.

The CIU may or may not need replacing. A simple re-flash may cure the issue.

Would get Frank Kent to do a PPI and post the results online. Your best bet for a trouble free car, for not much more, would be to contact Joe Ferrante @FiskerPhilly

http://fiskerofcherryhill.com/

Why is the vehicle purple?

RDM is 10k. Would not risk buying a car that has not had it replaced. There are some fatal design flaws
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mentat View Post
Hi All, new to this forum and the Fisker world in general, but I've been doing lots of research lately as a 2012 Karma popped up at a local dealership and I'd love to buy it.

VIN is YH4K16AA7CA000341, and I spoke to the dealer that originally sold the car (Karma Ft. Worth - very nice people btw) who gave me all of the vehicles history. Pretty standard work had been done on the car, and they said it should be in good shape. All recalls have been taken care of and software is flashed to 535.

I test drove it yesterday and it felt great. Much bigger than my current BMW 335i, but it felt smooth and responsive nonetheless. I noticed one issue right away which was the navigation screen said something like "Nav not activated, contact your dealer to activate". I had also read about the issue with radio stations and other CIU settings being erased, so I set a few radio stations in the memory and came back today to see if they were still saved.

Unfortunately the radio stations were all reset when I turned the car back on. Per the tech at Karma Ft. Worth, that means the CIU electronics have to be replaced, which is $3200 parts+labor. The dealership would not budge on price (a little over 40K incl. taxes/tag/fees etc.) as that was a "rock bottom price", so I tried getting the $3200 added to my trade in, but they only went as high as $8K for my '08 335i convertible, which I could easily get $12K+ for in private sale.

I'm a little bummed out as I fell in love with the car, but I'm wondering if it's still worth pursuing and just getting the CIU replaced.

A few questions I'm hoping you can all answer:
  • Would I even have to replace the CIU right away if I don't really listen to the radio (mostly just phone audio) and don't plan to use Nav? If the CIU fully failed, would the car still work OK until I got the CIU replaced?
  • What are people's experiences with having a replaced CIU? Is it more likely that a CIU-related issue will come back on a car that has a history of CIU issues?
  • Is 3200 a reasonable price for the replacement? Not sure I have many options in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, but just curious.
  • I also noticed that the electric range was 47 when I turned the car on today (sales person showed me a pic of it charged to 50) and it dropped to 45 while I was just sitting in the car in park for 5 mins playing with the radio/settings. Is that indicative of a possible battery issue or is that normal?
  • How likely is it that the RDM would need to be replaced on this lower VIN car? The Fisker Ft. Worth tech told me he's worked on a couple hundred+ Karmas and has replaced 3-4, so that gave me some confidence, but I'm curious what this group thinks.

EDIT: One more question - I do not drive much as I work from home. I drive maybe 200 miles a month max. Is it OK to leave a Karma sitting idle for days and possibly weeks at a time? How much will that degrade the battery capacity/health over time?

Pic of the car attached. Thanks in advance!
I have a tool that can reset the CIU the big question is does the USB port in the center console work.In order to flash the CIU that port needs to work if it doesn't you can't flash the CIU . I also have a good used CIU that is for sale you can always contact me
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Old 02-15-2018, 01:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you PowerSource/Harleyguy. I agree the RDM not being replaced is a concern, though I wonder if it's one of those "guaranteed to fail no matter what" things vs. "can fail if you drive the car aggressively+frequently". I don't plan to drive aggressively nor frequently (~200 miles a month maybe), so if it's the latter, I can live with that risk. For what it's worth, Frank Kent Fisker said that they inspected the RDM splines 2 years ago when they did an RDM pinion seal repair, and the splines were in good shape.

For the CIU, I do not know if the USB port works, but Frank Kent Fisker said they would try reflashing before replacing the CIU as that can sometimes fix the issue. Harleyguy thank you for the offer on the used CIU, I may be in touch with you on that.

Can anyone comment on the electric range question, i.e. I saw the electric range drop by a few miles while just sitting in the car in Park. Is that normal?

Last edited by mentat; 02-15-2018 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mentat View Post
Thank you PowerSource/Harleyguy. I agree the RDM not being replaced is a concern, though I wonder if it's one of those "guaranteed to fail no matter what" things vs. "can fail if you drive the car aggressively+frequently". I don't plan to drive aggressively nor frequently (~200 miles a month maybe), so if it's the latter, I can live with that risk. For what it's worth, Frank Kent Fisker said that they inspected the RDM splines 2 years ago when they did an RDM pinion seal repair, and the splines were in good shape.

For the CIU, I do not know if the USB port works, but Frank Kent Fisker said they would try reflashing before replacing the CIU as that can sometimes fix the issue. Harleyguy thank you for the offer on the used CIU, I may be in touch with you on that.

Can anyone comment on the electric range question, i.e. I saw the electric range drop by a few miles while just sitting in the car in Park. Is that normal?

So Frank Kent Fisker did the pinion nut on the vehicle? Or did they just replace the seals on the RDM? If it is the old rev without the shim, it is a matter of time till it fails. The pinion nut backing off is the usual reason for why the seals leak.

electric range will drop a few miles depending on the accessories that are on (i.e. ac compressor etc). I don't think dropping a few miles while in the car is that big of a deal.

As previously stated, would have a PPI done and at the very least have the vehicle scanned with Prodis as well as a live data read out of the battery pack. If you are really interested in the vehicle, a PPI from Frank Kent shouldn't cost more than 1-200 dollars.

Without real data, hard to recommend one way or another.

Last edited by PowerSource; 02-15-2018 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What did you end up doing? Did you buy it? Is the car purple or is that just the lights around the car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mentat View Post
Hi All, new to this forum and the Fisker world in general, but I've been doing lots of research lately as a 2012 Karma popped up at a local dealership and I'd love to buy it.

VIN is YH4K16AA7CA000341, and I spoke to the dealer that originally sold the car (Karma Ft. Worth - very nice people btw) who gave me all of the vehicles history. Pretty standard work had been done on the car, and they said it should be in good shape. All recalls have been taken care of and software is flashed to 535.

I test drove it yesterday and it felt great. Much bigger than my current BMW 335i, but it felt smooth and responsive nonetheless. I noticed one issue right away which was the navigation screen said something like "Nav not activated, contact your dealer to activate". I had also read about the issue with radio stations and other CIU settings being erased, so I set a few radio stations in the memory and came back today to see if they were still saved.

Unfortunately the radio stations were all reset when I turned the car back on. Per the tech at Karma Ft. Worth, that means the CIU electronics have to be replaced, which is $3200 parts+labor. The dealership would not budge on price (a little over 40K incl. taxes/tag/fees etc.) as that was a "rock bottom price", so I tried getting the $3200 added to my trade in, but they only went as high as $8K for my '08 335i convertible, which I could easily get $12K+ for in private sale.

I'm a little bummed out as I fell in love with the car, but I'm wondering if it's still worth pursuing and just getting the CIU replaced.

A few questions I'm hoping you can all answer:
  • Would I even have to replace the CIU right away if I don't really listen to the radio (mostly just phone audio) and don't plan to use Nav? If the CIU fully failed, would the car still work OK until I got the CIU replaced?
  • What are people's experiences with having a replaced CIU? Is it more likely that a CIU-related issue will come back on a car that has a history of CIU issues?
  • Is 3200 a reasonable price for the replacement? Not sure I have many options in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, but just curious.
  • I also noticed that the electric range was 47 when I turned the car on today (sales person showed me a pic of it charged to 50) and it dropped to 45 while I was just sitting in the car in park for 5 mins playing with the radio/settings. Is that indicative of a possible battery issue or is that normal?
  • How likely is it that the RDM would need to be replaced on this lower VIN car? The Fisker Ft. Worth tech told me he's worked on a couple hundred+ Karmas and has replaced 3-4, so that gave me some confidence, but I'm curious what this group thinks.

EDIT: One more question - I do not drive much as I work from home. I drive maybe 200 miles a month max. Is it OK to leave a Karma sitting idle for days and possibly weeks at a time? How much will that degrade the battery capacity/health over time?

Pic of the car attached. Thanks in advance!
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