I thought it would be helpful to have one central place where someone interested in buying a used (or "new") Karma could go to see a checklist of items that they should review before purchasing a Karma (Mods, can we make this sticky)...
Here's my first cut and please let me know if I have any errors or missed anything (I will try to keep this message updated). From memory:
Takata Airbag Recall
— Fisker Karma’s front passenger side airbags were among the airbags that were recalled as part of the massive worldwide recall of Takata air bags
. Karma Automotive has agreed to replace the defective airbags at no cost to owners through the CSP network. The replacement process began in early October 2017. There is a detailed thread on this topic here
. Before committing to purchase a used Fisker Karma, make certain that this recall campaign has been completed.
- HV Battery
– A123 supplied Fisker with batteries that had faulty hose clamps which made the battery subject to eventual failure; the recall was for nearly all cars of all VINs and should have been completed
- RDM/TMs (traction motors)
– Early VINs (under [1,200] or so) had RDMs with soft splines which over time and extended use, could lead to a powertrain failure. Also, earlier VINs (under [1,000]) also had a different clip on the RDM which could cause a failure of the parking pawl
- Cooling fan
– One of the cooling fans in the ICE area was prone to failure, causing the infamous fires in Texas and California; all Karmas should have had the fan replaced
– Fisker switched muffler suppliers from Stillen to Bosal in VINs starting roughly at [1,000]; Bosal mufflers are more robust and have a much lower failure rate
– The latest and most stable of the software for the car is version 535. This was preceded by version 520. DO NOT BUY A CAR WITH SOFTWARE VERSION 530.
520 or 535 are fine, but not 530. See this thread
for more information.
Other minor issues
- Trunk overbite
– Early build cars had body panel alignment issues with the trunk creating an “overbite” – this was fixed in later builds and earlier models had it somewhat fixed
- Heat shield
– Also early in the builds, when the ICE is engaged in Sport mode, a rattle at speeds or going downhill can be heard coming from in front of the driver or passenger’s feet. The fix for this involved adjusting/bending the heat shield
- Manual pull tabs in front doors
– these were replaced with glow in the dark tabs (older tabs were black and also broke off when pulled)
- Wind noise
– The rear passenger (and in some cases, driver’s side) window had a seal issue which at freeway speeds, caused noticeable wind noise (like a plastic bag flapping); Fisker had a fix out which owners could voluntarily have done
- AC unit
– Some AC units of early build cars did not operate properly and needed to be replaced