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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read the Consumer Reports article and watched the video. It really has me worried because so many people are now under the impression that the Karma is a POS. I saw comments from people on the CR article that have me worried about the resale value, long term viability, and stability.

Public opinion matters. It doesn't matter if someone can afford a Karma; it's what they tell their neighbors, friends, and colleagues about what they read.

It's very hard to get back bad PR. Once your goodwill is trashed, it might cost 10 times the money to get it back; if you ever really can.

What if each person who reads the article tells 3 people, then each of those people tell 3 people, etc. and then pretty soon the Karma could be branded as a "bad car." It might not matter if Fisker gets things fixed in the near future because it might be too late.

I didn't buy the car to lose $100k of my hard earned cash. I don't mind losing some normal depreciation, but we might be driving something that has very poor resale in 3 to 5 years.

Think about this: A Mercedes SL55 retains about 77% of its resale value at 3 years. At the other end of the field is the ugly, but reliable, Pontiac Aztec which only retained 28% of its value---and it was backed by a large corporation with hundreds of dealers.

If my Karma is worth 28% of its value in the 3 years($30,800), I'll have lost $79,200. That's not acceptable to any luxury car buyer. There is a chance, even if its a slim one, that we could see this happen. It could even be worse if Fisker tanks, which I think many buyers are saying is highly unlikely. I'm one of them who think they can make it if they get their act together.

What are your thoughts?

Here's some of the comments that really worry me from this article:

"Consumer Reports Finds Trove Of Unhappy Karma Owners"

"The Fisker, $108,000 and falling apart."

"CR says the touchscreen is also less than ideal, with a grayscale look and plenty of menu flipping that "makes MyFord Touch (which CR has roundly criticized) look like a brilliant design."

"I am not sure there is a bright future for small start-up car companies..."

"Yes, this car is a bust..." (comment made by a eco-green supporter)

"What an expensive piece of sheeeet !"

"Another failing "Green" company given millions of taxpayer dollars by the failing Obummer administration"

"Another waste of American taxpayer money on a foreign pile of crap, glad to see the cheaper pile is at least made in the USA,..."

"So it costs $108,000 and it's a POS"

"The guy who owned it was pacing around on the phone and when I asked him about it he told me he was waiting for a flatbed towtruck as the car wouldn't start." (a person who saw one at his gym)

"a $100,000 car that does not run properly is unacceptable, it's a 100k lemon!"

"The company will be bankrupt before the year is out, and would no doubt already be out of business without taxpayer money."

"Can you spell expensive junk?"

"This is the type of low quality items that your tax dollars supported."

"Can you say Edsel?"

"Based upon CR's evaluation, I can't imagin anyone spending money on this car."


OK, I'll stop----you all get the point.

This is crazy. What bothers me the most is that everything CR wrote is pretty dead on true. Fisker released the car with bugs. Now WE'RE the one's who might be paying for their mistakes.

I love my Karma, but it has way too many issues and I would never accept this poor of quality if it weren't so nice to drive when it works right. I hope 6.15 fixes a lot of things because I love my Karma. If it doesn't, I hope it fixes most of the issues. Then maybe they can get working on 6.16 to address any remaining issues and fix the features we expect to work.

When I got my first Karma it seemed like every mile I put on it was to and from the dealership for service. The new one has not been back to the dealer, so I'm much happier. But I spent a lot of time, money, and energy driving 50 miles back and forth to the dealership. Not many high-end buyers will tollerate that for long; including me.

Besides the poor quality, they missed the boat on so many features that are standard in much cheaper sedans. Sometimes I feel like the Karma is stuck in pre-iPad days.

Why are there no rear seat a/c outlets? My kids get too hot or too cold riding in the back!

Where's the hard drive to store MP3's on? (MB's S-class comes with 7 gigs)

Where's the CD-DVD player?

How do I install DVD's into the headrests without cutting up the seats?

Why is the navigation so hard to use and so small to look at?

Where's a place to plug in a cell phone or radar detector up front?

What's up with the miniature cup holders?

Why do I have to press several areas on a screen just to change the temperature?

How do I use the steering wheel controls at night if they aren't lite?

Why can't I see the tire pressures on the command screen?


Not to mention options that are available in most luxury cars are completely missing from the Karma:

Distronic (MB's speed control that reads the car in front of you to figure out the speed)

Pre-safe (MB's braking system that detects when a driver is trying to avoid a collision and it applies full braking instead of letting the driver hit something.)

Blind spot warning

Rear door shades

Read window shade

Cooled seats

Heated steering wheel

Front seat, split screen DVD player(MB's newest system)


I can live without all the features, but I can't live with poor resale and poor quality. I hope this gets resolved soon and Fisker is able to put out some good press and get some much needed independent reviews done.

Anyone else getting worried? Or am I just over reacting?

Thanks!

- Bill
 

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Back in 2008, the Tesla Roadster had many serious problems, not just glitches in the electronics. Now Tesla has a $3.6B market cap and 7000+ deposits for the Model S.

IMHO Fisker, under the new leadership of Tom LaSorda, will quickly address the Karma's quality issues. Yes, it will take some time for the negatives to die down. But unless you plan to sell your car in the next 6 months, I don't believe you have to worry.

We have to remember that EVERYONE loves the look of the Karma, and the owners on this forum are positive about the car, except for the software problems and a couple of panel fit issues.

As an aside, my dealer lost a few deposits last month, but took a larger number of new deposits. So the car continues to sell, despite the current negative press.
 

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This also begs the question about an owners only room, as the bad pr mentioned could now use the very posting against the Brand as bad PR from within the community.
 

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@ffcars - Honestly, I now share your concerns. I've been trying to determine how well the Karma is selling, because ultimately that is what will make or break Fisker. Are people looking past the bugs and risk of a new car company, and moving forward with their Karma purchases? I really thought (and hoped) the dealers would not be able to keep cars in stock for at least the first six months or so, but that isn't the case. Cars are sitting on dealer lots and some dealers aren't even buying signs yet. As an example, cars.com currently lists 247 Karmas, and a sampling of these with photos of the actual cars in stock at the dealer indicates: 6 in Ft. Worth, 6 in Tulsa, 14 in Las Vegas, 17 in Atlanta, 7 in North Olmstead, 10 in Greenbelt, and on and on. I'm not sure what the sell rate is but the number of new Karmas listed on cars.com gradually increases each time I check. I really hope the Karma inventory levels sell down completely, creating a wait list. But so far, if you want to purchase a new Karma, they appear to be readily available in a large selection of colors. :(
 

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I knew when I bought it that there was a 50/50 chance it would become a very expensive paperweight, but honestly it doesnt bother me... Probably should tho.
 

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When Audi bought Lamborghini they had high hopes for a lower than the Diablo priced Lambo. They designed the Gallardo and in 2004 produced what they thought they could sell. Didn't quite work out so well. It was a "slow seller" compared to their expectations, so they produced fewer in subsequent years. I don't think anybody would say that the Gallardo has been a bust for Lamborghini, but matching production with demand has had to be adjusted. If this "worst case scenario" that some are worried about for the Karma materializes, why wouldn't it be likely that Fisker would simply just scale back its operations from the lofty goal of 15K Karmas per year to something more in line with whatever the market can devour?
I am not in the forecasting business and wouldn't even try to guess what the future holds for Fisker (way to many variables for me to compute), but I didn't buy my Karma for resale value as I have no plans or intent to sell the car. I bought it because I love the looks, I love what the car represents and I am elated with the way the car performs and functions.
Sure, there are "luxury features" I can find in my Mercedes and even in the Town and Country, but this is not that type of car. How heavy and complicated would the Karma be if they put all they features from FFCars wish list in there? With the cabin volume as small as it is, is it really that hard to keep the kids comfortably temperate in the back seats? Where would you run ducting for rear heat/ac vents? Are the cup holders really that unusable? I can fit water bottles, coffee cups just fine. Why put a cd player in a new car, as it is a dying technology anyway. I have built in hard drive in my MB and T&C which I don't use because I have an iPhone with all my music.
I guess they could have increased the weight to 6300lbs to pack more features for some, but for me, I don't want that more than what the car is "missing".
On top of all this, I actually like the clean looking inside without all the buttons.
I honestly think that if guaranteed great resale value is what you're looking for, this car is not for you. There are way to many unknowns that can influence it that there's no way for anybody at this junction to forecast. In fact, if resale value is important, why ever buy a new car that have a tendency to depreciate around 50% in the first 2 years anyway. Why not just buy a 2 year old car?
 

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I have my fair share of problems with my Karma also. I am starting to understand:

Good looks can only get you so far (both figuratively and literally in this case)
 

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I'm worried if I made a good decision putting $10K down on a Karma that will be delivered in mid April. Dealer told me it's not refundable and that the price went up in 2012 about $7K but he will still give me the old price.
I did not know about the FiskerBuzz Forum prior to putting my deposit down.
Probably would not do it so quickly if I knew all of this stuff.
I love nice looking cars just like my Bentley GT.
Everyone on this forum has a point (GOOD & BAD) but the more I read the more I worry.

I JUST DON'T KNOW.

 

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FFcars, if the Karma is worth $30K in 3 years, I'd buy another one =) Assuming the car works, the looks/body alone is worth $30K (and it would be great to have a selection of Karmas in different color/interior combos).

Bottom line: I'm a little concerned about resale (or more pressingly, Fisker offering 'incentives' to move the cars or reduce the sales price) - but that's not why I bought the car. I love the looks. I think the tech has promise and I want a different kind of car to succeed. Had the Tesla Model S looked like the Fisker, there's a 50/50 chance I would have opted for that instead of the Karma (range anxiety aside). I'm rooting for Fisker (and Tesla, Coda, etc)
 

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I'm waiting to buy one until the next software upgrade. I have a baby and cannot risk getting stuck. I am becoming more doubtful about buying one and if for example there is a owners only forum I would 100% not buy because clearly its only because owners have something to hide/basically saying its a bad decision.

Fisker has done a horrid job of communicating (on these boards, for example) to create confidence. If they had been open and everyone knew what was going on, I think I would have bought already. But since its a black hole I'm still waiting hoping the next SW upgrade will fix many of the problems.

Most of the PR problems which are a cancer for this company/may kill it were easily avoidable if they would just communicate.

Very frustrating, but I want to buy one bad. My alternative is 1/2 price vehicles like lexus/audi s4/etc but I'm stepping up because i wanted to be part of something special, it seems like its already losing its luster and its only March.

Even worse, if owners start getting stopped and laughed at or talked down to (after spending $100k+) by other motorists this company is dead because alot of current buyers are ego buyers.

Anyway, Rush Limbaugh was bashing this company like crazy yesterday so yet another failwhale with PR.

Its really sad because emotionally I want to buy this car, but rationally its looking like a progressively worse idea.

Of course, many buyers who can afford to lose $50k+ it doesn't matter, and this doesn't apply to them. In that case, all is ok BUT THE CAR HAS TO WORK MOST OF THE TIME.
 

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I have had my car for a week now and the car runs great. I treat it like a computer - start it up slowly and don't do too much at once. I have had only 1 minor glitch (gas tank read empty when full, it reset to correct amount when I got back into the car after running an errand). I have had more problems with my MAC's software during this time!

The points raised in this thread are legitimate, but so is the car. It drives like a dream and the gas mileage is incredible around town (essentially infinite). I would buy it again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sigurd said:
When Audi bought Lamborghini they had high hopes for a lower than the Diablo priced Lambo. They designed the Gallardo and in 2004 produced what they thought they could sell. Didn't quite work out so well. It was a "slow seller" compared to their expectations, so they produced fewer in subsequent years. I don't think anybody would say that the Gallardo has been a bust for Lamborghini, but matching production with demand has had to be adjusted. If this "worst case scenario" that some are worried about for the Karma materializes, why wouldn't it be likely that Fisker would simply just scale back its operations from the lofty goal of 15K Karmas per year to something more in line with whatever the market can devour?
You hit the nail on the head. Scaling back is difficult and Audi has VW with very deep pockets to make sure cash flow wasn't an issue. Besides, Lamborghini was used to selling under 1,000 cars per year, so if they doubled that in 2004, the factory would adjust.

Sigurd said:
Sure, there are "luxury features" I can find in my Mercedes and even in the Town and Country, but this is not that type of car. How heavy and complicated would the Karma be if they put all they features from FFCars wish list in there?
Not much more than what we have now. We traded in a Maserati GranTurismo on our Karma and the Maserati is shorter, has as much or more interior room and has the features I listed: large front/rear cup holders, rear seating A/C vents AND controls, Hard Drive for music, good navigation, etc.

The intended market for this car requires it compete with 7-series BMWs and S-Class MBs. That's what luxury car buyers want. Yes, us early buyers don't give a hoot because we love the technology and design. But there are very few buyers with this kind of cash and have the mindset that we all seem to have.

Sigurd said:
With the cabin volume as small as it is, is it really that hard to keep the kids comfortably temperate in the back seats? Where would you run ducting for rear heat/ac vents?
Yes, it is very difficult to heat/cool so that the driver is comfortable AND the kids are OK too. My kids can deal with it. I'm just pointing out that this might be a deal killers for many buyers. Just ask a car salesman and they'll tell you crazy stories about how they lost sales because the car didn't have this or that. Even the size of the cup holders matter to the majority of the US buyers. I know it's petty, but it's something that I think they over looked and it would be too hard to redesign in the next few years.

I have no idea where to put the rear vents. I'm not the designer of this car and wouldn't have a clue on how to route the hoses and put the vents.

Sigurd said:
Are the cup holders really that unusable? I can fit water bottles, coffee cups just fine.
They fit a can of Coke just fine for me. But forget picking up a 20 oz bottle or a water bottle. It's just a pain, not a big deal for me. But again, I didn't buy this car because of its cup holders.

Sigurd said:
Why put a cd player in a new car, as it is a dying technology anyway.
The DVD function is more important than the CD player. But if you have a DVD player, it should play CD's too.

Sigurd said:
I have built in hard drive in my MB and T&C which I don't use because I have an iPhone with all my music.
I have a hard drives in many of our cars; including our cheap Jeep. In fact, I used the HD in the Jeep this morning taking the kids to school. I have more than the Karma to choose from and I hate carrying around my iPod, so I like my music to be onboard.

And by the way, I can't play my ipod in the Fisker because I can't use the USB port!

Sigurd said:
On top of all this, I actually like the clean looking inside without all the buttons.
I like the looks, but hate the execution. You have an iPhone, so you know what I'm talking about. Every car that I know of has A/C controls that are acceptable by buttons so you don't have to change screens or take your eyes off the road. The problem with the Fisker control panel is that it is distracting, not very intuitive, and sometimes you can't see it very well.

This could all be fixed with an update to address contrast, lighting during the night vs day, put a/c controls on the bottom every page(like the volume), etc.

Sigurd said:
I honestly think that if guaranteed great resale value is what you're looking for, this car is not for you. There are way to many unknowns that can influence it that there's no way for anybody at this junction to forecast. In fact, if resale value is important, why ever buy a new car that have a tendency to depreciate around 50% in the first 2 years anyway. Why not just buy a 2 year old car?
No new car I have ever bought depreciated 50% in the first two years. I would never own a car that tosses money out the door like that!

Yes, resale is very important to MOST buyers; maybe not the few on this site, but for many its an important issue to consider when making a $120k purchase. Most people in this income bracket are pretty good with money and know that buying a depreciating asset is a bad idea; but we do it anyway because we like cars. But I'm pretty careful about what cars I buy so that I don't just toss money out the window as I'm driving down the road.

If the Karma worked right from the factory, we wouldn't be having this conversation. When I bought the car I thought there would be a very high demand and if I didn't like the car I could sell it quickly. But since Fisker didn't get it right, the cars aren't selling very well.

I watch eBay and haven't seen a purchase in 3 months. I may have missed some, but I don't think so. Maybe some sold off line, but many cars keep reappearing over and over again.

I'm not trying to start a fire here, I'm just wondering if any other buyers are getting concerned.

Thanks for listening,

- Bill
 

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If it puts anyone at ease, I will buy anyone's Karma today for $30K (cash).
 

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Those seeking resale should buy camrys and accords, those seeking mass premium should buy audi, Lexus etc, or maybe the oft referred, slipping down the jd powers, no longer prestigious Benz ....those seeking driving limited production, high emotional engagement which will hopefully work to its own spec should be comfortable and excited about their karmas...I am shocked to read the comparisons in these emails as everyone knew the karma was totally new froma new company in a David and Goliath world, also having owned and currently owning many 100k + cars, none is truly a good investment and all have their own quirks. A scion has better head unit plug n play than a Bentley but its not why I buy Bentleys.
I'm also surprised all the complainers don't mention the cars they're comparing the karma to are not only mass produced but traditionally powered, so a cupholder or rear ac vent vs series hybrid seems odd comparos to me....I'd rather these folks didn't buy karmas Point out first generation faults. The Forum is for owner and enthusiast support. If you're a naysayer, maybe blog your thoughts elsewhere. Or better yet, just get a Prius.
 

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Bill,
Ineresting thoughts but my Karma is perfect in every way and I have had no issues for 1000 mi. The Karma may be the most striking looking car on the road today and, if others have issues, Lasorda will fix them, guaranteed. We need to show a little patience. The Karma has been on the road three months! I'm thrilled every day I drive it and really feel we all have a winner here. Be cool
CS
 

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brian said:
cwsnhri said:
Ineresting thoughts but my Karma is perfect in every way
Wow... what color is the sky in your universe?

-Brian
Hah. Brian, where's that other video you were going to post?
 

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SoCalGuy said:
brian said:
cwsnhri said:
Ineresting thoughts but my Karma is perfect in every way
Wow... what color is the sky in your universe?

-Brian
Hah. Brian, where's that other video you were going to post?
My car is in the shop, so I can't make any videos until I get it back. Plus, I'm giving Fisker the benefit of the doubt and waiting for 6.15. Hopefully that'll fix some things so the video rant won't be 30 minutes long :)

-Brian
 

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WOJO said:
I love unique cars just like my Bentley GT (see pic) but did I make a good decision in selling my Bentley?
Everyone on this forum has a point GOOD & BAD but the more I read the more I worry.

NOW I JUST DON'T KNOW.
@Wojo: I know. The Fisker is not the right car for you.

There is nothing unique about a Bentley. It has been around since the industrial revolution and it follows the same concept as many high-end cars such as Rolls Royce, Audi A8, Maybach, etc. which is to put a very powerful conventional engine in a meticulously crafted coach-style body and sell it for far more than it is worth to people who hope that near-naked girls will show up and pretend to lick the emblem on their radiator. (BTW, that almost never happens. You have to pay them specifically for that.)

The Fisker takes an entirely different approach and as result represents a certain amount of risk that is not really suited to everyone at the moment. It will eventually work through the issues and become a mainstream car. In the meantime, I have 2000 miles on my Fisker and, as chronicled here, have worked through some serious problems. I can also afford to buy any of the high end cars short of a Bugatti Veyron. Neverthelss, I would never trade my Fisker for your Bentley, with or without the girls.

I am sure when Daimler, Ford and others came out with the first cars at the turn of the 20th century, there were plenty of people who scoffed at the noisy, slow, and complicated creations and pointed out that their carriages were more comfortable, less noisy, and much easier to own and to service, and they were right. So if you want to stick with your perfectly working horse and buggy equivalent, vaya con dios. Personally, I put my money on still evolving 21st Century technology rather than perfectly working and video-girl approved execution of 100-year old technology.
 

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@Bill, I love reading your responses. And, you are the pro because you are the only one I know that has owned not just one, but two Karmas.
I totally get that there are people on the fence. And, if I were one of them, I'd be scared too if I read FB. There aren't that many people just writing about all the fun they're having in their car and how well it does, but every glitch we all report and discuss extensively. Like I've said before, there are actually Karmas out there where everything is working well. I'm one of them.
As for the lack of amenities, such as larger cup holders, rear vents, rear shades, DVD player etc. etc. Didn't anybody notice they weren't there before your purchased the car? Why buy it and then start complaining about everything the car does not have? And please, nobody take me the wrong way. I'm not trying to be rude, I just want us to have a balanced and informed conversation. I love the Karma. I always have something to look forward to, like the next SW upgrade...
Cheers,
 
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