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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read yesterday's press release and also the related documents on the A123 website. There appears to be a lack of basic information about what Karma owners should do or need to do, however.

Can DHarris or anyone else in the know please clarify:

1) Are all Karma's potentially affected by the defect? Or just ones with a certain build date range or VIN number range? If so, what is that VIN number range of affected Karmas? Full disclosure to this very engaged community would be a great testament to Fisker's new commitment to customer service and transparency.

2) Will we be proactively contacted by Fisker if our VIN number is potentially affected? Or do we have to contact Fisker to ask if our cars are affected?

3) What are the symptoms of the defective battery? I assume one symptom is that the car dies, Consumer Reports-style, but the press release information also indicates that the defective batteries have a shorter-than-normal lifetime. Would a Karma owner with a defective battery notice the lifetime issue, or only if the car dies?

The outcome I hope Fisker can avoid, and one that is probably on the minds of Karma owners, is if Fisker doesn't proactively replace all the defective batteries, and relies on the owner to detect and report the problem. Having a battery that lasts 6 years instead of 10 years due to this defect would be very unfortunate since even the newly extended 60-month warranty wouldn't cover such a failure.

-David
 

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drliu said:
The outcome I hope Fisker can avoid, and one that is probably on the minds of Karma owners, is if Fisker doesn't proactively replace all the defective batteries, and relies on the owner to detect and report the problem. Having a battery that lasts 6 years instead of 10 years due to this defect would be very unfortunate since even the newly extended 60-month warranty wouldn't cover such a failure.
A123 systems is taking a $55M charge against earnings for the battery replacement program. That would imply that there will be a proactive program to replace potentially defective batteries.
 

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drliu said:
I've read yesterday's press release and also the related documents on the A123 website. There appears to be a lack of basic information about what Karma owners should do or need to do, however.

Can DHarris or anyone else in the know please clarify:

1) Are all Karma's potentially affected by the defect? Or just ones with a certain build date range or VIN number range? If so, what is that VIN number range of affected Karmas? Full disclosure to this very engaged community would be a great testament to Fisker's new commitment to customer service and transparency.

2) Will we be proactively contacted by Fisker if our VIN number is potentially affected? Or do we have to contact Fisker to ask if our cars are affected?

3) What are the symptoms of the defective battery? I assume one symptom is that the car dies, Consumer Reports-style, but the press release information also indicates that the defective batteries have a shorter-than-normal lifetime. Would a Karma owner with a defective battery notice the lifetime issue, or only if the car dies?

The outcome I hope Fisker can avoid, and one that is probably on the minds of Karma owners, is if Fisker doesn't proactively replace all the defective batteries, and relies on the owner to detect and report the problem. Having a battery that lasts 6 years instead of 10 years due to this defect would be very unfortunate since even the newly extended 60-month warranty wouldn't cover such a failure.

-David
David, I think your concern is unnecessary. If they plan on not replacing potentially defective batteries, then they would not announced this replacement progam in the first place, they would have simply done nothing.

You will likely be contacted by your dealer, as was done with the last recall. And since there is no danger to either the car or the driver there is no real urgency.

If I look at the amount of $55 million I expect the batteries of all Karma's to be replaced.
 

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Dutch said:
If I look at the amount of $55 million I expect all batteries of all Karma's to be replaced.
Since A123 can potentially repair and reuse the batteries they are taking back in exchange, $55M is going to cover a lot a battery exchanges, including all Karmas and many others beyond the Karma.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all-- I hope the situation is resolved quickly and smoothly. Fisker (and its owners) deserve a break from this recent string of unfortunate news!

If 100% replacement is necessary, let's hope the battery swap doesn't take long for each of us.

-David
 

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1) No, not all Karmas are affected by the battery exchange update. If your vehicle falls into the VIN range, I am sure that you will be contacted by your dealer, and/or Fisker. I don't have any information on the VIN range yet.

2) You will be proactively contacted by Fisker Corporate and/or your originating dealer. It is free and easy work for a dealer, and it would be silly for them not to contact you regarding this matter.

3) You most likely will not experience any issues with the battery you have. It affects "lifetime and durability." Fisker is emphasizing that there is not a safety concern. When your battery is replaced, it won't behave any differently, most likely, it will just have a longer overall life, and won't require replacement as soon.

Hope this helps!
 

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The one thing that I will say about the whole battery recall is that batteries will be in high demand, and Fisker is saying that it might take until Q4 of this year to complete the battery exchanges. That is why they are emphasizing that this issue does not affect your driving experience, nor does it present a safety issue. To "go the extra mile," Fisker is even lengthening the term of the warranty coverage on all Karmas. Try to be patient with this, as it will take some time to get parts demand met across the country!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do you know if the affected cars are the oldest VINs, the "middle-aged" VINs, the newest VINs, a mixture of two or more of these categories, or a seemingly (to an outsider) random VIN subpopulation?

Thanks,
David
 

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The best thing LaSorda could do, in addition to warranty assurance and improved comms, would be to remove the mystery from all of these things like what 615 will/won't do, and providing things like the affected vins concurrent with the announcement. It's frustrating to be in the dark and oddly more frustrating to have only partial information.
 

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Ross a klein said:
The best thing LaSorda could do, in addition to warranty assurance and improved comms, would be to remove the mystery from all of these things like what 615 will/won't do, and providing things like the affected vins concurrent with the announcement. It's frustrating to be in the dark and oddly more frustrating to have only partial information.
Since the $55M charge was material to A123, as a public company they had to disclose it as soon as they knew it. Consumer Affairs told me that Fisker is working now on compiling the list of affected VINs so they can contact customers.
 

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It would be best to be last in line for battery replacement. It's like getting 6-9 months of free battery use and starting fresh at the end of the year.
BillyO
 

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Please correct me if I am wrong. But as I read the the battery warranty information in the powertrain section of the manual, it is an eight (8) year HV battery warranty that is NOT affected by the increased bumper to bumper portion of the the warranty for the 2012 model year. Can D Harris or others clarify?
 

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BillyO said:
It would be best to be last in line for battery replacement. It's like getting 6-9 months of free battery use and starting fresh at the end of the year.
BillyO
haha thats a good point! but it also buys you an extra 6-9 months of higher likelihood of getting stranded on the side of the road, just depends on how you want to look at it and which you would prefer haha
 

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BillyO said:
It would be best to be last in line for battery replacement. It's like getting 6-9 months of free battery use and starting fresh at the end of the year.
BillyO
Dito :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::fisker:
 

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Are the affected batteries the ones that I had installed during the last battery recall? If it is, then I must say that I have will have had 3 batteries in the 4 months of ownership and if they keep this up, my battery should last forever.
 

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I don't know where the VIN split is. I do know that battery cells made at a certain factory were affected, so A123 is working on routing battery serial numbers to VINs to figure out which vehicles are affected. Shouldn't take very long to have a list.
 

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Here's some detail on the exact problem in the batteries:

The faulty calibration of one of four welding machines at the plant caused misalignment of a component in some cells, which A123 said could lead to an electrical short and result in premature failure of the battery or decrease performance and battery life.

Full article about A123:

http://www.boston.com/Boston/businessupdates/2012/03/analyst-may-lack-fundraising-ability-after-defects/KIRVsbHlqAYxDvDtIbpptN/index.html
 

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dennis said:
Here's some detail on the exact problem in the batteries:

The faulty calibration of one of four welding machines at the plant caused misalignment of a component in some cells, which A123 said could lead to an electrical short and result in premature failure of the battery or decrease performance and battery life.

Full article about A123:

http://www.boston.com/Boston/businessupdates/2012/03/analyst-may-lack-fundraising-ability-after-defects/KIRVsbHlqAYxDvDtIbpptN/index.html
http://www.a123systems.com/media-room-service-campaign.htm
 
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