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As promised, I took some photos today and compiled this walk around of my new Fisker Karma. I started with a fully charged battery using the 220V charger and drove in both Stealth and Sport modes in town and on the freeway and on windy hilly roads (which are more fun that should be legal) and came home with 1 mile remaining on the battery and used up just under 4 gallons of gas. Overall, since the initial drama after the delivery, my car has been working as advertised and even the command center has been tolerable. I think all of us with 6.13 owe a debt of gratitude to @Brian for finding a lot of this bugs for Fisker and helping them solving them before the second and third waves of owners received their cars.

First, the walk around:

[video=youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rai-haG6mUU[/video]


Second, a word on quality issues. I have been spending a lot of time in very bright sunshine and trying to identify any build quality issues. So far, it looks like I got lucky and the German inspector was working when they built my car because the gap issues are absolutely minimal. For example, the trunk "overbite" is barely discernible in my car. Here are some photos:





There is a very small height diference between the bonnet and the quarter panels. The difference is almost impossible to see and you have to run your finger along that gap to feel it. It is also symmetrical, which tells me it cam be fixed with a simple adjustment to the bonnet hinges. I did my best to capture it by shooting this photo along the line of the gap.

:

I could not really detect any variance at the intersection of the lights, the bonnet and the front bumper, I may not be looking hard enough, but I just don't see it:






Third, the paint displays almost no orange peel that I can see. Again, I may no be looking carefully enough but I just can't detect it. For example, the view from our house reflected in the rear bumper. It's not a mirror finish exactly, but comes pretty damn close:





The interior fit and finish also appears flawless. Admittedly, I have not made an exhaustive inspection of the interior, but from casual inspection the leather, stitching and general fit and finish seems perfect.



Fans of the black instrument cluster background can rejoice since it has come back from oblivion, at least in my car:



Not sure about this one. When I originally picked up the car, it had the white background but at some point it switched back to black. Ambient lighting does not seem to have any effect on it, nor does the dimming setting on the command system that can be used to select Parade mor or one of 10 brightness settings.

The car's handling has been absolutely epic. It feels solid and responsive. I has grinning like an idiot as I was throwing it into the curves on a twisty and hilly road between I280S and my brother house in San Carlos. As far as the acceleration goes, I am starting to get used to the difference between the electric motors and the 4.2 Litre V8 in my old car. The electric motors give you a big lump of torque at the beginning and then their response becomes linear, you still go faster when you push the pedal down, you just don't get the non-linear response you get at higher RPMs from a gas engine. I had no problem passing cars or sliding into holes in the traffic at 70+ miles/hour with this car but you don't have the big kick that comes at high RPMs from gas engines. The car feels very fast and very fun. Just different from a gas engined car.

Some quirks I noticed:

I smelled the same "burning wire" smell that @Brian reported in the first 30 miles but it eventually went away and since I did not observe any fire or smoke, I can only conclude it was a covering or coating of some sort that burned off when exhaust heated up. I have not smelled it since then.

The Nav system is really not worthy of this car. It looks barely adequate, almost low-res compared to the system we have in our Benz. At one point, it completely lost track of where we were and was trying to drive around a neighborhood when I was on the freeway.

Thanks to @Skibum, I managed to find the setting for the speed warning and set it to only say something if I am exceeding the local speed limit by 30 MPH. I figure I would probably want to know that, if it ever happend, but 10 MPH over the limit was way too naggy for me.

To say I am impressed with car overall would be a massive understatement. As I said to my brother, Fisker's PR department could be pretty annoying, but they made an amazing F**king car! I can't imagine why anyone who can afford this car would not buy it after driving it.

And perhaps best of all, the charger has finally stopped mocking me:




-- Fab
 

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Hahaha... nice Fab, congrats! Glad your car didn't have the same issues many of ours had. I guess that 100+ spot difference really did make a difference!
 

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Fab, how's the lower part of the rear bumper/wheel well, near the reflectors? Any gapping there? Its probably harder to see given the car is black...
 

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Fab, you have a good sense of humor, love the caption of the trunk fit in the slideshow. lol.

I smelled the burning wire thing once, but not since. And for those who were wondering, someone asked elsewhere, I drove in Sport mode a day or so ago with the windows down and no exhaust smell in the cabin. I was driving at speeds of 0-55 mph during the smell test.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fabulist said:
Some quirks I noticed:

I smelled the same "burning wire" smell that @Brian reported in the first 30 miles but it eventually went away and since I did not observe any fire or smoke, I can only conclude it was a covering or coating of some sort that burned off when exhaust heated up. I have not smelled it since then.

The Nav system is really not worthy of this car. It looks barely adequate, almost low-res compared to the system we have in our Benz. At one point, it completely lost track of where we were and was trying to drive around a neighborhood when I was on the freeway.

Thanks to @Skibum, I managed to find the setting for the speed warning and set it to only say something if I am exceeding the local speed limit by 30 MPH. I figure I would probably want to know that, if it ever happend, but 10 MPH over the limit was way too naggy for me.


-- Fab
One more quirk I forgot to mention is that the problem with the 220V charger. When I plug the car into my charger, it makes all the proper noises like it is going to charge, there are a lot clicks and often the battery fan comes on and the charging indicator light illuminates on the dash, but there is no actual transfer of energy to the car. If I go back a couple of hours later and start the car up, the battery level is exactly where it was when i started charging the car. The 110V charger always works, so overnight charging is not a problem at the moment. What is vexing about this is that last night, as a test, I unplugged the car when it was 39% charged on 110V and plugged in the 220V charger and came back a couple of hours later and the battery had charged up the correct amount. So left the 220V plugged in and in the morning, I had a fully charged car.

I have reported the problem to Fisker and this has been reported by others as well, so I expect a software release to fix it soon. But in the meantime, I am going to be using the 110V charger at home.

-- Fab.[hr]
SoCalGuy said:
Fab, how's the lower part of the rear bumper/wheel well, near the reflectors? Any gapping there? Its probably harder to see given the car is black...
It's an even gap all the way across on both sides and when I run my finger across the gap the two sides feel level and totally parallel on both sides. No issue as far as I can tell.

-- Fab.
 

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Fabulist said:
One more quirk I forgot to mention is that the problem with the 220V charger. When I plug the car into my charger, it makes all the proper noises like it is going to charge, there are a lot clicks and often the battery fan comes on and the charging indicator light illuminates on the dash, but there is no actual transfer of energy to the car. If I go back a couple of hours later and start the car up, the battery level is exactly where it was when i started charging the car. The 110V charger always works, so overnight charging is not a problem at the moment. What is vexing about this is that last night, as a test, I unplugged the car when it was 39% charged on 110V and plugged in the 220V charger and came back a couple of hours later and the battery had charged up the correct amount. So left the 220V plugged in and in the morning, I had a fully charged car.

I have reported the problem to Fisker and this has been reported by others as well, so I expect a software release to fix it soon. But in the meantime, I am going to be using the 110V charger at home.
I got 6.13 installed in my car on Friday, and had the same experience Friday night where the car did not charge at all. Like you, I have a Blink charger. Mine is programmed to start charging at midnight, when the cost/kwh is lower.

Saturday night I charged with the 110V charger and it worked, although it only got to 31 miles after about 9 hours of charging.

Today, I reprogrammed the Blink charger to start charging immediately, and voila, when I returned home the battery read 50 (not 49) miles.

Fab, I would be interested to know how you have your Blink set up, and whether the time it failed to charge was a delayed charge and the time it worked was an immediate charge( i.e. in your charging window when you plugged in). If so, then your experience would match with mine and the bug introduced in 6.13 would be in inability of the Karma to accept a delayed charge.

- Dennis

P.S. Congrats on the car delivery, and I'm glad you are having a good experience with it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
dennis said:
I got 6.13 installed in my car on Friday, and had the same experience Friday night where the car did not charge at all. Like you, I have a Blink charger. Mine is programmed to start charging at midnight, when the cost/kwh is lower.

Saturday night I charged with the 110V charger and it worked, although it only got to 31 miles after about 9 hours of charging.

Today, I reprogrammed the Blink charger to start charging immediately, and voila, when I returned home the battery read 50 (not 49) miles.

Fab, I would be interested to know how you have your Blink set up, and whether the time it failed to charge was a delayed charge and the time it worked was an immediate charge( i.e. in your charging window when you plugged in). If so, then your experience would match with mine and the bug introduced in 6.13 would be in inability of the Karma to accept a delayed charge.

- Dennis

P.S. Congrats on the car delivery, and I'm glad you are having a good experience with it!
Dennis: The unsuccessful charges for me were all "Start Charging Now" charges, where I told the Blink to ignore the programming and start charging immediately. The charger made all the requisite noises including the very loud relay click , but the battery charge percentage did not move at all. The one time that the charging worked, I plugged the car in after 11:00 when the charging was programmed to start and the car was charged the next morning. I don't really think that the issue is the Blink's programming because the dealer had a different brand of charger and they could not charge my car either, which led to all the post-delivery drama.

I will keep using the 110V charger and wait to hear from Fisker about the issue.

-- Fab.

P.S. Thank you. I am actually surprised how good the experience has been so far. I am sure once the excitement of the delivery wears off, I may be more bothered by the lingering issues, but for now, I am just excited to be driving the car.
 

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That Tritone is growing on me....
 

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No issues with my 220v charging yet, find out tomorrow morning if I am still good to go. Weather is looking great for my second day of taking the Karma to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
SoCalGuy said:
That Tritone is growing on me....
Being the typical dude, I was just going to go for a monotone color but my daughter assured me that the Tritone was the way to go and she was right. It's really Duo+Demi Tone because there is only a tiny splash of the Grey.

-- Fab.
 

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Fabulist said:
SoCalGuy said:
That Tritone is growing on me....
Being the typical dude, I was just going to go for a monotone color but my daughter assured me that the Tritone was the way to go and she was right. It's really Duo+Demi Tone because there is only a tiny splash of the Grey.

-- Fab.
Yeah I even like the Glacier Tritone in the EcoChic... my main beef with the monotone is that its got the Alcantara stuff on the dash... I wish that were leather like in the EcoStandard!!! I don't mind the pattern on the seats (different than the roadshow cars btw).
 

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Fabulist said:
Dennis: The unsuccessful charges for me were all "Start Charging Now" charges, where I told the Blink to ignore the programming and start charging immediately. The charger made all the requisite noises including the very loud relay click , but the battery charge percentage did not move at all. The one time that the charging worked, I plugged the car in after 11:00 when the charging was programmed to start and the car was charged the next morning. I don't really think that the issue is the Blink's programming because the dealer had a different brand of charger and they could not charge my car either, which led to all the post-delivery drama.
It turns out the "Start Charging Now" is different than plugging the car in during the charging window or programming the Blink for "Immediate Charging". This is because with Start Charging Now you have already plugged in the charger to the car before the charger is ready to supply current. With Immediate Charging the charger is ready to supply current as soon as you plug it in.

I just drove my car for a few miles and then plugged in again with the Blink set up for Immediate Charging. Sure enough, it topped off the battery back to 50 miles range.

So this is what I know for sure about the change in behavior with the 6.13 release:

If the charger is not ready to immediately supply current when you plug it in, the Karma will not charge.

This was not true with prior releases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
dennis said:
Fabulist said:
Dennis: The unsuccessful charges for me were all "Start Charging Now" charges, where I told the Blink to ignore the programming and start charging immediately. The charger made all the requisite noises including the very loud relay click , but the battery charge percentage did not move at all. The one time that the charging worked, I plugged the car in after 11:00 when the charging was programmed to start and the car was charged the next morning. I don't really think that the issue is the Blink's programming because the dealer had a different brand of charger and they could not charge my car either, which led to all the post-delivery drama.
It turns out the "Start Charging Now" is different than plugging the car in during the charging window or programming the Blink for "Immediate Charging". This is because with Start Charging Now you have already plugged in the charger to the car before the charger is ready to supply current. With Immediate Charging the charger is ready to supply current as soon as you plug it in.

I just drove my car for a few miles and then plugged in again with the Blink set up for Immediate Charging. Sure enough, it topped off the battery back to 50 miles range.

So this is what I know for sure about the change in behavior with the 6.13 release:

If the charger is not ready to immediately supply current when you plug it in, the Karma will not charge.

This was not true with prior releases.
Fascinating and also very annoying since one big reason for getting the more expensive charger was to be able to use the cheapest possible rate to charge the car. I will try it your way to see if that makes a difference. Ultimately though, Fisker needs to fix this and allow the charger to start up some time after it was plugged in to the car.

-- Fab.
 

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Fabulist said:
Fascinating and also very annoying since one big reason for getting the more expensive charger was to be able to use the cheapest possible rate to charge the car. I will try it your way to see if that makes a difference. Ultimately though, Fisker needs to fix this and allow the charger to start up some time after it was plugged in to the car.
Agreed. I believe this may have been an unintended consequence of changes they made to fix the problem where the car locked itself during charging (even if the key was inside!). What I observed is that after plugging in, the control computer goes to sleep in 1-2 minutes, and the charging indicator on the dash goes away. It appears that the car does not wake back up when the charger is ready to supply current.

I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon at my dealer to meet with the regional tech rep from HQ to discuss this problem, and I will make sure he understands how important delayed charging is, especially in California!
 

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Fabulist said:
Being the typical dude, I was just going to go for a monotone color but my daughter assured me that the Tritone was the way to go and she was right. It's really Duo+Demi Tone because there is only a tiny splash of the Grey.
I got my brochure and peered at interior colors again. The monotone black there looks very different from the tritone black, but I'm guessing this is photo color reproduction issues. Still, it makes me want to reconsider my order... :D

If the build date is still end-of-Feb I probably can change the interior color. If it's even later, well, even more chance...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
dennis said:
Fabulist said:
Fascinating and also very annoying since one big reason for getting the more expensive charger was to be able to use the cheapest possible rate to charge the car. I will try it your way to see if that makes a difference. Ultimately though, Fisker needs to fix this and allow the charger to start up some time after it was plugged in to the car.
Agreed. I believe this may have been an unintended consequence of changes they made to fix the problem where the car locked itself during charging (even if the key was inside!). What I observed is that after plugging in, the control computer goes to sleep in 1-2 minutes, and the charging indicator on the dash goes away. It appears that the car does not wake back up when the charger is ready to supply current.

I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon at my dealer to meet with the regional tech rep from HQ to discuss this problem, and I will make sure he understands how important delayed charging is, especially in California!
After reading your post, I went downstairs and reprogrammed the charger to start earlier such that I would be in the charging window and plugged it into the car. Sure enough, after 90 minutes,, the car has charged up from 28% to 50% and appears to continue charging. So you can tell the Fisker representative that your results have been independently verified.

Please be sure to impress upon him the fact that some of us actually changed our electrical billing rates to take advantage of delayed charging so this is pretty important.

Thank you, and regards,

-- Fab.
[hr]
ct-fiskerbuzz said:
Fabulist said:
Being the typical dude, I was just going to go for a monotone color but my daughter assured me that the Tritone was the way to go and she was right. It's really Duo+Demi Tone because there is only a tiny splash of the Grey.
I got my brochure and peered at interior colors again. The monotone black there looks very different from the tritone black, but I'm guessing this is photo color reproduction issues. Still, it makes me want to reconsider my order... :D

If the build date is still end-of-Feb I probably can change the interior color. If it's even later, well, even more chance...
I am guessing that if you want to change your order, sooner would be better than later since they have to provision the builds well in advance and they have not had the best of luck with leather.

-- Fab.
 

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I only have the 110 convenience charger and I noticed too that if I plug it into the car first it won't charge. I have to plug it into the wall first, let the diagnostics on the charger happen, then plug it into the car. I guess there has to be current when plugging it into the car for it to initiate charging. Weird, but I'm sure Fisker can effectively address this issue.
 

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Sigurd - that behavior with the convenience charger was explained to my by my dealer upon delivery. It's probably the convenience charger, in that specific case, that is the limitation.
 

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Sigurd said:
I only have the 110 convenience charger and I noticed too that if I plug it into the car first it won't charge. I have to plug it into the wall first, let the diagnostics on the charger happen, then plug it into the car. I guess there has to be current when plugging it into the car for it to initiate charging. Weird, but I'm sure Fisker can effectively address this issue.
I believe this may be another instance of the bug introduced in 6.13 that I discovered with delayed charging on my Blink charger.
 
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