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What a disappointing day. I live in S. Florida and have been in love with the Karma since I first saw it at a Ferrari sponsored Toy Drive in December. I absolutely fell in love with the design and also loved the idea of the technology behind it.

I have wanted to purchase a Karma as my daily driver for a few months now, but have been holding off due to software and battery issues. I currently drive an M3 sedan as my day driver and being a spirited driver, I'm lucky to get 16-17mpg. The Fisker's lines, luxury and exclusivity certainly has had my interest though.

The Texas car that caught fire early last month has been a concern, the longevity of the company and the negative reviews from Car and Driver as well as the dead Consumer Reports Car has had me very concerned about the viability, resale and reliability of this car long term though.

Despite all that, with the latest 6.15 software update, which my local dealer assured me had corrected almost all of the issues, brought me to the dealership a 2nd time this week. I wanted this car. I wanted it badly.

So today, I went to Fisker with my girl friend, so she could see the car and give me her impressions. She too is in love with the look of the car, but I wanted her buy in as to how it drove, etc.

So let me share with you what happened today:

Troubles seemed to begin when we first tried getting into the vehicle with the dealer. First, the car wouldn't unlock. Thought this was a bit strange, but our salesman finally got the doors opened and the car started. I drove the car first and the car drove beautifully.

We then stopped, I put the car in park, and my girl friend and I switched seats so she could drive, but the car had a system failure. The car felt like the drive train was stuck and the system warning lights started flashing. Our salesman came back up to the front seat, embarrassed of course and tried to alleviate the problem. He couldn't. He turned the car off, restarted it and still nothing. He called back to the dealership and their phone support yielded no immediate result. So he asked us to exit the vehicle on the side of the road for about 5 minutes so the car had time to go to sleep and reset itself. ( I thought, you have to be kidding me!!!)

When we initially tried to exit the vehicle, the doors wouldn't open. Then the car decided to let us out and we turned the car off, and stood on the side of the road for 5 minutes in the hot 90+ degree sun. (All I could envision is this happening when I had clients out to lunch or a meeting somewhere!)

The salesman told us how embarrassed he was and that perhaps I shouldn't consider this as my daily driver, because he had no excuse as to why the system was behaving this way, but these cars had been a bit quirky and Fisker may need more time to resolve this new technology.

Finally after our 5 minutes of waiting, the car restarted and all was ok. How strange and disappointing, but it seems Fisker's software update didn't fix the bugs in the car yet.

I can't tell you how disappointed I am. I so wanted to own this car, as I would have loved to be an adopter of the new technology and relish in the exclusivity of the vehicle.

I at this point am going to have to wait until Fisker works out these bugs and makes this car more reliable. What a shame! I hope that Fisker has the financial wear with all to work through these issues and can continue to design cars this beautiful.

For now, I'll keep my M3 as my daily driver and play with my Ferrari 430 Scud on the weekends. I'm hoping in a few more months, Fisker can get their act together and fix this beautiful work of art, as I'd love to drive it every day, but need to make sure it won't leave me stranded...
 

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greggp said:
What a disappointing day. I live in S. Florida and have been in love with the Karma since I first saw it at a Ferrari sponsored Toy Drive in December. I absolutely fell in love with the design and also loved the idea of the technology behind it.

I have wanted to purchase a Karma as my daily driver for a few months now, but have been holding off due to software and battery issues. I currently drive an M3 sedan as my day driver and being a spirited driver, I'm lucky to get 16-17mpg. The Fisker's lines, luxury and exclusivity certainly has had my interest though.

The Texas car that caught fire early last month has been a concern, the longevity of the company and the negative reviews from Car and Driver as well as the dead Consumer Reports Car has had me very concerned about the viability, resale and reliability of this car long term though.

Despite all that, with the latest 6.15 software update, which my local dealer assured me had corrected almost all of the issues, brought me to the dealership a 2nd time this week. I wanted this car. I wanted it badly.

So today, I went to Fisker with my girl friend, so she could see the car and give me her impressions. She too is in love with the look of the car, but I wanted her buy in as to how it drove, etc.

So let me share with you what happened today:

Troubles seemed to begin when we first tried getting into the vehicle with the dealer. First, the car wouldn't unlock. Thought this was a bit strange, but our salesman finally got the doors opened and the car started. I drove the car first and the car drove beautifully.

We then stopped, I put the car in park, and my girl friend and I switched seats so she could drive, but the car had a system failure. The car felt like the drive train was stuck and the system warning lights started flashing. Our salesman came back up to the front seat, embarrassed of course and tried to alleviate the problem. He couldn't. He turned the car off, restarted it and still nothing. He called back to the dealership and their phone support yielded no immediate result. So he asked us to exit the vehicle on the side of the road for about 5 minutes so the car had time to go to sleep and reset itself. ( I thought, you have to be kidding me!!!)

When we initially tried to exit the vehicle, the doors wouldn't open. Then the car decided to let us out and we turned the car off, and stood on the side of the road for 5 minutes in the hot 90+ degree sun. (All I could envision is this happening when I had clients out to lunch or a meeting somewhere!)

The salesman told us how embarrassed he was and that perhaps I shouldn't consider this as my daily driver, because he had no excuse as to why the system was behaving this way, but these cars had been a bit quirky and Fisker may need more time to resolve this new technology.

Finally after our 5 minutes of waiting, the car restarted and all was ok. How strange and disappointing, but it seems Fisker's software update didn't fix the bugs in the car yet.

I can't tell you how disappointed I am. I so wanted to own this car, as I would have loved to be an adopter of the new technology and relish in the exclusivity of the vehicle.

I at this point am going to have to wait until Fisker works out these bugs and makes this car more reliable. What a shame! I hope that Fisker has the financial wear with all to work through these issues and can continue to design cars this beautiful.

For now, I'll keep my M3 as my daily driver and play with my Ferrari 430 Scud on the weekends. I'm hoping in a few more months, Fisker can get their act together and fix this beautiful work of art, as I'd love to drive it every day, but need to make sure it won't leave me stranded...
@Greggp: Sorry about your experience and I think the sales person made a huge mistake taking you out in a car that was having problems before you even got in it. What was he thinking? I am sure if you walk into any dealership and find the sales person jump starting the car you are going to test drive, you will feel a certain level of skepticism, whether or not the problem is a widespread issue or if someone just left the headlamps on overnight.

Just as a counterpoint, I can tell you that I have had my Karma for over 4 months now and have almost 5K miles on it. I have a 70-mile daily commute and have never been stranded by the Karma and always prefer to drive the Karma whether we are going to market close to the house or going somewhere much further away.

I hope you give the Karma another chance with a car that is more typical of the group's experiences here.

And BTW, the sales person could have solved the entire problem by performing a hard restart before you even set off.
 

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greggp said:
What a disappointing day. I live in S. Florida and have been in love with the Karma since I first saw it at a Ferrari sponsored Toy Drive in December. I absolutely fell in love with the design and also loved the idea of the technology behind it.

I have wanted to purchase a Karma as my daily driver for a few months now, but have been holding off due to software and battery issues. I currently drive an M3 sedan as my day driver and being a spirited driver, I'm lucky to get 16-17mpg. The Fisker's lines, luxury and exclusivity certainly has had my interest though.

The Texas car that caught fire early last month has been a concern, the longevity of the company and the negative reviews from Car and Driver as well as the dead Consumer Reports Car has had me very concerned about the viability, resale and reliability of this car long term though.

Despite all that, with the latest 6.15 software update, which my local dealer assured me had corrected almost all of the issues, brought me to the dealership a 2nd time this week. I wanted this car. I wanted it badly.

So today, I went to Fisker with my girl friend, so she could see the car and give me her impressions. She too is in love with the look of the car, but I wanted her buy in as to how it drove, etc.

So let me share with you what happened today:

Troubles seemed to begin when we first tried getting into the vehicle with the dealer. First, the car wouldn't unlock. Thought this was a bit strange, but our salesman finally got the doors opened and the car started. I drove the car first and the car drove beautifully.

We then stopped, I put the car in park, and my girl friend and I switched seats so she could drive, but the car had a system failure. The car felt like the drive train was stuck and the system warning lights started flashing. Our salesman came back up to the front seat, embarrassed of course and tried to alleviate the problem. He couldn't. He turned the car off, restarted it and still nothing. He called back to the dealership and their phone support yielded no immediate result. So he asked us to exit the vehicle on the side of the road for about 5 minutes so the car had time to go to sleep and reset itself. ( I thought, you have to be kidding me!!!)

When we initially tried to exit the vehicle, the doors wouldn't open. Then the car decided to let us out and we turned the car off, and stood on the side of the road for 5 minutes in the hot 90+ degree sun. (All I could envision is this happening when I had clients out to lunch or a meeting somewhere!)

The salesman told us how embarrassed he was and that perhaps I shouldn't consider this as my daily driver, because he had no excuse as to why the system was behaving this way, but these cars had been a bit quirky and Fisker may need more time to resolve this new technology.

Finally after our 5 minutes of waiting, the car restarted and all was ok. How strange and disappointing, but it seems Fisker's software update didn't fix the bugs in the car yet.

I can't tell you how disappointed I am. I so wanted to own this car, as I would have loved to be an adopter of the new technology and relish in the exclusivity of the vehicle.

I at this point am going to have to wait until Fisker works out these bugs and makes this car more reliable. What a shame! I hope that Fisker has the financial wear with all to work through these issues and can continue to design cars this beautiful.

For now, I'll keep my M3 as my daily driver and play with my Ferrari 430 Scud on the weekends. I'm hoping in a few more months, Fisker can get their act together and fix this beautiful work of art, as I'd love to drive it every day, but need to make sure it won't leave me stranded...
That's a shame you had such a poor first experience. I took delivery of my Ecosport in the beginning of January 2012. I have had minimal problems and consider myself fortunate. Immediately after getting my 6.15 update I stopped at a store and when I went to start the car about 3 minutes later it would not go into drive. I let it sit for 2 minutes ( soft reboot) and it was fine. I spoke to a technician after that incident and he told me that sometimes the first cycle time after an update the car could "misbehave". Not a very tecnical explanation but I have had no problems since. I still am a major advocate for this car. I think the tecnology is amazing. I have a 40 mile commuute daily roundtrip. I drive mostly on electric. I am averaging about 110 mpg over the last 3000K miles and have spent about $ 150 on gas in 5 mo. Did I mention the car is so much fun!
 

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Given the enjoyable ride and drive earlier, I find the test drive to be more a reflection of the dealer and their preparation of the vehicle. I have 3000+ miles on my car in 2 1/2 months. No real problems but a few minor bugs. I think it would be worth another drive. By the way, if you would ever buy a ferrari or lambo, you might want to fire proof your house. Car fires can happen with any vehicle but to make a choice not to buy a car because there was a fire without clear cause and effect would, IMHO, have many of use make a choice not to have any specialty vehicle. The difference in how the car uses the computer to "run" the vehicle is where we do see some unusual behavior. I had the computer go out in my mercedes and the car would not go and I could not do any 5 min wait or hard reboot. But that is just my personal experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies and experiences. The car I drove was actually a dealer demo and had not been having problems what so ever. I guess I'm a little gun shy, but hearing about all your experiences is certainly helpful. I haven't ruled out buying the car yet, but also am a bit nervous about the reliability. I have a business, meetings, and kids and need to make sure that when I need the car, it will be there. The car fire isn't that concerning to me, because it was one incident, but that with the other issues in such a short period of time certainly made me more sensitive to potential issues with the car. What bad "Karma" going to the dealer and having that happen on a car that was being driven by the owner of the dealership and was reportedly working without any issues.

Thanks again for the feedback. This forum has been very informative and most everyone here seems to love their cars. That is a positive sign.
 

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I agree with what others have posted here and won't rehash. As a relatively new owner, I had some of the same concerns as the stories started to stack up, but I have to say... after 5 weeks of ownership and about 1500 miles, the experience has been truly excellent. MUCH better than I expected, and I have not looked back. I have had a couple of minor annoyances like the CEL coming on for no good reason, but I find myself looking for reasons to take the car out because it's just so much fun to drive.
 

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Sorry to hear you had a bad test drive... but just so you know you don't have to get out of the car to let it go to sleep, and it is only takes 2 minutes for it to sleep. I have had to do 3 hard resets on my Karma that was delivered March 2nd, 2012. March 4th my salesman flew to KY to teach me how to drive the car. NOW that is service! I am not close to a dealer but took a chance on this car, after test driving the Maserati Granturismo I flew to Miami to test drive the Karma last summer when they had the road show. I had a great test drive obviously I ordered one! I have not gotten the new software, being in KY I am alone. Fisker has agreed to pick my car up & tow it to the new dealer in Cincinnati when my calendar will allow it. Fisker has tended to my every call, they are attentive and even though there are bugs we are working thru - I wouldn't trade my Karma for anything else on the road. I am averaging 107 miles to the gallon - everyone is amazed by the beautiful car, (which can drive you a little nuts) but it is an experience to own and drive one everyday - we are making histotry with
this company and the new technology. I am a self proclaimed "CAR FREAK" and a female, so my personal Fisker concierge "Mike Burger" knows my name and number and is fast to call me back and work me thru any problem. Thankfully - he hasn't heard from me in a month or so. Sometimes I scare him and just call to say Hi Mike I am not having issues just wanted to say have a great day!
The Townhall Meetings are great information as well as Fisker Buzz.
Don't give up on Fisker, if you dream of owning this incredible machine you should do another test drive. It is an experience not just a drive everytime you drive one. They are constantly working on improving the cars and we (early adopters) are part of the process, which depending on your outlook is either a pain, or really exciting. For me it's exciting! Good Karma!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
KY Karma said:
Sorry to hear you had a bad test drive... but just so you know you don't have to get out of the car to let it go to sleep, and it is only takes 2 minutes for it to sleep. I have had to do 3 hard resets on my Karma that was delivered March 2nd, 2012. March 4th my salesman flew to KY to teach me how to drive the car. NOW that is service! I am not close to a dealer but took a chance on this car, after test driving the Maserati Granturismo I flew to Miami to test drive the Karma last summer when they had the road show. I had a great test drive obviously I ordered one! I have not gotten the new software, being in KY I am alone. Fisker has agreed to pick my car up & tow it to the new dealer in Cincinnati when my calendar will allow it. Fisker has tended to my every call, they are attentive and even though there are bugs we are working thru - I wouldn't trade my Karma for anything else on the road. I am averaging 107 miles to the gallon - everyone is amazed by the beautiful car, (which can drive you a little nuts) but it is an experience to own and drive one everyday - we are making histotry with
this company and the new technology. I am a self proclaimed "CAR FREAK" and a female, so my personal Fisker concierge "Mike Burger" knows my name and number and is fast to call me back and work me thru any problem. Thankfully - he hasn't heard from me in a month or so. Sometimes I scare him and just call to say Hi Mike I am not having issues just wanted to say have a great day!
The Townhall Meetings are great information as well as Fisker Buzz.
Don't give up on Fisker, if you dream of owning this incredible machine you should do another test drive. It is an experience not just a drive everytime you drive one. They are constantly working on improving the cars and we (early adopters) are part of the process, which depending on your outlook is either a pain, or really exciting. For me it's exciting! Good Karma!
Glad to hear the level of service is so good. Just out of curiosity, how do you do a hard reset of the vehicle?
 

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They have walked me thru it enough! LOL! You pop the hood, and disconnect this little black box holding together two connectors. I think one is to the computer and the other to the batteries.
Then you count to 30 or so and and plug it all back in and reconnect the little box where the connectors meet. It's like hard rebooting a computer - with an unplug instead of a button. Then you recalibrate your windows and emergency brake, which is easy. I know most of my light that come on are false alarms, due to I have 3 kids that can't keep their paws off of the car when it is plugged in, or not plugged in. They love it.
But resets fix almost any problems - normally the soft reset of letting it go to sleep fixes it. The engine light or ground fault need a hard reset if you aren't close to a dealer. Otherwise the dealer can hook it to their computer and fix it.
:)
 

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BMW said:
Can't blame the dealer for this one. Can't account for random bugs if you are the dealer.
You are correct, but you can blame the dealer for taking prospects out on a car that is having problems before even getting into the car, and then generalizing the blame to all Karmas.

Tip to sales folks: If the car refuses to unlock for you, there is obviously an issue, so find another car to test drive and then debug the first car when you are NOT on a test drive. Common sense, really.
 

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KY Karma said:
Sorry to hear you had a bad test drive... but just so you know you don't have to get out of the car to let it go to sleep, and it is only takes 2 minutes for it to sleep. I have had to do 3 hard resets on my Karma that was delivered March 2nd, 2012. March 4th my salesman flew to KY to teach me how to drive the car. NOW that is service! I am not close to a dealer but took a chance on this car, after test driving the Maserati Granturismo I flew to Miami to test drive the Karma last summer when they had the road show. I had a great test drive obviously I ordered one! I have not gotten the new software, being in KY I am alone. Fisker has agreed to pick my car up & tow it to the new dealer in Cincinnati when my calendar will allow it. Fisker has tended to my every call, they are attentive and even though there are bugs we are working thru - I wouldn't trade my Karma for anything else on the road. I am averaging 107 miles to the gallon - everyone is amazed by the beautiful car, (which can drive you a little nuts) but it is an experience to own and drive one everyday - we are making histotry with
this company and the new technology. I am a self proclaimed "CAR FREAK" and a female, so my personal Fisker concierge "Mike Burger" knows my name and number and is fast to call me back and work me thru any problem. Thankfully - he hasn't heard from me in a month or so. Sometimes I scare him and just call to say Hi Mike I am not having issues just wanted to say have a great day!
The Townhall Meetings are great information as well as Fisker Buzz.
Don't give up on Fisker, if you dream of owning this incredible machine you should do another test drive. It is an experience not just a drive everytime you drive one. They are constantly working on improving the cars and we (early adopters) are part of the process, which depending on your outlook is either a pain, or really exciting. For me it's exciting! Good Karma!
KY Karma,

I haven't heard about "hard" reset for a long time. I thought the updates have made that unnecessary. Is it because you haven't had the updates and that still require you to do that? I wonder.

Grepgp,

A lot of owners are happy with the 6.15 update + two patches. I hope the salesman you encountered knew what he was talking about and the car was truly updated with 6.15 + two patches. I hope you will give it another test drive.
 

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Just to echo everyone else, have had my car about a month and am thoroughly enjoying it! As much or more than any car I have ever owned. I have not had any significant problems and my dealer has been outstanding.

I thought I would always drive in sport mode for the added performance, but now that I have the car it is just the opposite. I drive in stealth and really get a charge (pun intended) out of not using gas! I have 900 miles on it, have used less than three gallons of gasoline...note that my other car is an M5, so I would not classify myself as a "green freak".

My only complaint is the command center which could be a bit more user friendly as is well documented elsewhere on this forum (in fact I think a bit over exaggerated).

Realize that you will be an early adopter if you get one and there will inevitably be some nicks when you are on the cutting edge. I don't think you have to be too afraid of leaving yourself or your family stranded at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My dealer called me today and is offering me a couple of days with a demo car to drive around and reassure me of the vehicle. I think I'm getting it tomorrow. I hope the next couple of days allows me to fall in love with the vehicle like many of you are.
 

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I am a new car owner as well. 3 weeks tomorrow. 1,000 miles. 3 problems. 1st night when switching drivers between my kids, couldn't get it to go into drive. Unplugged no problems. Two days later at caribou. Parking brake light came on. Went to work and came back at end of day Problem gone Since then no problems except battery drops 5 miles in 1 mile. Charges to 50 most days. Lots of smiles. Thumbs up. Went to cars and coffee in mn with my son in fisker and me in my ford gt. fun to see which one had the most looks on freeway. I wanted till 6.15 and am glad. Have a friend who has had his for two months. Lots of problem but not after 6.15. So I shared your concern with bigs and fire but took the leap and have had good experience.

Plan to turn it in to get plates on and check battery. Have had some steering wheel vibration over 60. No issues with IPhone Bluetooth or USB.
 

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greggp said:
My dealer called me today and is offering me a couple of days with a demo car to drive around and reassure me of the vehicle. I think I'm getting it tomorrow. I hope the next couple of days allows me to fall in love with the vehicle like many of you are.
Greggp, Take the demo and drive the tail off of it. Afterwhich the odds are you will become a fellow owner. Got mine in Feb. and have had 3K miles of fun drama free driving! Oh yes, avg. MPG = 125
 

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greggp said:
My dealer called me today and is offering me a couple of days with a demo car to drive around and reassure me of the vehicle. I think I'm getting it tomorrow. I hope the next couple of days allows me to fall in love with the vehicle like many of you are.
Wow, talk about service! The power of the internet?
 
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