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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I received the following in an email from Nedim Pajevic, whose title is "Global Consumer Affairs," whatever that means, on May 7, 2012 with regard to my Fisker:

·"This vehicle is on the affected list of VINs that requires a replacement HV (high-voltage) pack. The HV (high-voltage) pack replacement is not a safety issue and the timing of this replacement will be based on our schedule after we build up inventory for North America based retailers."

In response to my follow up, Mr. Pajevic wrote:

"A123 has stated that the replacement of all customer’s lithium-ion battery packs could take as long as the end of the 3rd quarter to be completed by as well."

On August 28, in response to my follow up, Mr. Pajevic wrote:

"I would imagine towards the end of next month there is a possibility of having yours replaced."

Then the BS began.

On October 20, after I had not received a follow up to my email after a full week, Mr. Pajevic wrote:

"My apologies for not being able to respond sooner to your latest email as I have been ill and out of the office the last couple of days.

A123 stated earlier this year that they would be looking to start the voluntary exchange program by the end of the 3rd quarter. With that said, to my knowledge, A123 has not officially begun the voluntary exchange as of yet.

At this point in time, lithium ion battery replacements are executed only when a HV failure has been detected and our TSS team has determined the DTC (diagnostic trouble codes) are ones that are related to needing that replacement completed immediately. Typically, a HV battery failure is displayed in the instrumentation table with a red battery symbol (double aa style) that has a lightning bolt going through it.

I would first suggest to have Fisker Santa Monica double check your battery packs serial numbers. Once we have the serial numbers, we will know for sure if your battery is on the A123 list since the information I provided to you last in regards to being on this list, was solely based on your vin number instead of the actual battery packs serial number.

After that, we can also check your battery levels as well to make sure there aren't any discrepancies with the numbers and overall data.

One last suggestion is that Fisker Automotive recommends every 3-4 weeks leaving your vehicle plugged in if possible for longer than a 24 hour period so as to stabilize the battery cell levels; comprised of 52 individual packs.

Please let me know if I could be of any further assistance. I am passionate in helping you find a resolution to your battery issue as it is the focal point of the innovative technology behind the Karma's powertrain."

I responded:

Hi Nedim, I hope you have recovered from your illness and that the following does not give you a relapse. You wrote” A123 stated earlier this year that they would be looking to start the voluntary exchange program by the end of the 3rd quarter. With that said, to my knowledge, A123 has not officially begun the voluntary exchange as of yet. More than 5 months ago, your email informed me the exchange was “required.” It is not voluntary. It doesn’t have to be officially begun. A123 is in bankruptcy. This is on Fisker. You wrote, ”lithium ion battery replacements are executed only when a HV failure has been detected and our TSS team has determined the DTC (diagnostic trouble codes) are ones that are related to needing that replacement completed immediately. Typically, a HV battery failure is displayed in the instrumentation table with a red battery symbol (double aa style) that has a lightning bolt going through it. “ So it is only after I have a failure on a part that is required to be replaced that I can get a replacement? You wrote, “I would first suggest to have Fisker Santa Monica double check your battery packs serial numbers. Once we have the serial numbers, we will know for sure if your battery is on the A123 list since the information I provided to you last in regards to being on this list, was solely based on your vin number.” More than 5 months ago, Your email informed me the exchange was “required.” NOW you are asking about battery serial numbers? My vehicle has been in the shop three times since our first email exchange. Was this checked? Was I notified?"

Mr. Pajevic responded:

"The statement I made earlier was in fact true. The exchange or a possible future rework or modification of the battery would be required to be done since A123 believes that these batteries could eventually lead to what a customer might experience, a HV battery failure. With that said, A123 officially stated this is going to be a “voluntary replacement program” since it would not be demanded of any customer to bring in their vehicle for the replacement, such as NHTSA backed safety recall. Instead, they would rather have those customers “voluntarily” bring their vehicles in at the appropriate time once enough stock has been built up to be able to do so. This goal was initial set forth as being by the end of the 3rd quarter. In addition to currently being limited with our lithium ion battery supply, A123 is the FINAL decision maker on whether the battery will be replaced upon a HV failure once our TSS team has provided all of the necessary DTCs and data associated with it. Lastly, a few months back we realized that the VIN#s we were confirming are the ones that should be on the A123 list might not be completely accurate. The reason for this is because when we had our initial battery recall in 2011, battery packs were taken out of vehicles on a regular basis and as a result, initially battery serial numbers may no longer match its original VIN#. This is why I recommend upon your next retailer visit, to simply ask of them to check your HV battery serial number. This task can be executed within 10 minutes. Please let me know if you need any further clarification on the matters discussed.


Please note his statement that "A123 is the FINAL decision maker on whether the battery will be replaced..."

After I objected to this very silly statement, in his next email Mr. Pajevic restated that "A123 is the final decision maker."

My vehicle went in the shop. The battery was replaced.

Mr. Pajevic then emailed with regard to the replacement of my battery under warranty:

"To sum it all up, the final decision was made by our Field Service Representative of the Western Region, in consultation with the A123 Engineering Team and our internal Technical Support Staff (TSS)."

I followed up with Mike Bancroft, the Field Service Tech who made the decision to replace the battery and he emailed me:

"The decision to replace you battery did not involve A123 as it was taken after they filed chapter 11."

I have just sent the following email to Tony Posawatz and Henrik Fisker:

When a senior member of management makes fatuous and untrue statements in writing, such as Nedim Pajevic has made to me, to wit, “A123 is the FINAL decision maker on whether the battery will be replaced upon a HV failure once our TSS team has provided all of the necessary DTCs and data associated with it” it only serves to insult your customers’ intelligence and make them angry. If such situations were handled forthrightly and honestly it would reinforce customer satisfaction, rather than the opposite.

Nedim Pajevic wrote “With regard to the replacement of my battery under warranty:

"To sum it all up, the final decision was made by our Field Service Representative of the Western Region, in consultation with the A123 Engineering Team and our internal Technical Support Staff (TSS)."

Mike Bancroft has written me that “The decision to replace you (sic) battery did not involve A123 as it was taken after they filed chapter 11.” Mike also wrote “Because of your previous concern, then (sic) I (emphasis added) made the decision to replace the pack.”

In my opinion, Nedim Pajevic is in the wrong segment of the auto industry as such blatant falsehoods are more in the realm of used car salesmen than a serious automotive startup. I would not have someone who spouts such nonsense working for me, nor should you."


Since the battery replacement, I have averaged about 2 miles more per charge. Curiously, I have seen the test results on my original battery. While it fully charged, its "SOH" or state of health was only 69%, so it was replaced. Something in that just doesn't make sense. How can the battery fully charge but only be 69% healthy?

One more note. I was told that in emails relating to my battery replacement, one person stated something to the effect of "I guess we have to bite the bullet on this one." Not reassuring.





























T
 

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Since the battery replacement, I have averaged about 2 miles more per charge. Curiously, I have seen the test results on my original battery. While it fully charged, its "SOH" or state of health was only 69%, so it was replaced. Something in that just doesn't make sense. How can the battery fully charge but only be 69% healthy?
IIRC, the fault in the A123 HV battery only affected certain cells that were welded by a specific faulty machine, not the entire battery. I would think that if a few cells are not working correctly, the battery can still move the charge around to the working cells to get the best possible performance and when all the good cells are charged, the battery considers itself fully charged, even though some number of cells are not storing any charge and the overall capacity is less than 100%.

Caveat: All of this is IMHO. I don't have any direct knowledge of any of this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I should add that while my car was in the shop having the battery tested and replaced, the tech got into a fender bender while doing a test drive. Of course, it was fixed, but with the update to 510 and the repairs, I was without the car for TWO WEEKS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The battery never indicated 69% of a charge. It always shows 50 miles after a full charge. Mike Bancroft wrote:

"The term SOH (State of Health) is used to give us a ball park figure on how "good" the battery is.
This figure is an derived from an algorithm that uses various parameters (including SOC, Mileage, Number of Charges and how "balanced" the pack is).

For instance, we have seen the SOH be low if the battery pack hasn't been balanced as often as the engineers anticipated.
Similarly, we've seen batteries "recover" if they've had 3-4 complete cycles with full balancing at each cycle.
A low SOH could also be caused by a "weak" module, but your original pack showed consistent figures across all modules." I virtually always charge the battery for 10+ hours. I still don't get how the SOH could be 69% when each module in the battery passed all tests.


BTW, Stefan, I feel like I helped Fisker.
 

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I received this reply email this morning:

I’m very sorry about your recent experience with Nedim Pajevic. He is no longer with Fisker Automotive.

Regards,
Ayumi

Ayumi Suenaga
Manager, Global Customer Service
Tel: +1 714-888-4255
Desk: +1 714-485-1324
[email protected]
www.fiskerautomotive.com
I am guessing you were not the only person who complained. Still, firing the guy right before Christmas is pretty harsh.
 

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I would guess that things were in flux with the whole A123 bankruptcy, so people probably gave the best answers they had at the time. Regarding the guy being let go, it feels like things are in a holding pattern with Fisker at the moment, so they may be looking to reduce staff. This incident was likely reason enough.
 

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"Health" is one of those squirrelly measures that Li-ion batteries attempt to guess.

If you have a laptop and a "battery analyzer" widget for it, it's likely to give you a "health" value for your laptop battery. For instance, the one I'm typing on right now, "health" is at 92%. What does that mean? Whatever the heck you like, really. Here's what iStat says:
Battery health indicators such as iStat Pro often are not 100% accurate, and also your battery health may not be accurately presented because the battery hasn't been calibrated lately. All in all, even if the battery health is seriously at 98%, we cannot tell if it is a defective battery yet. Keep watch of your battery; if you see the battery health drop below 85% within a few months and your amount of battery cycles has not passed 100 cycles, you should contact Apple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, Fisker's representative made me feel like successfully getting the HV battery replaced under warranty was a victory. Since I was informed in May that it needed to be replaced, it shouldn't have turned into a game I had to win in order to have the proper course of action taken. And, clearly, he and Fisker parted ways prior to my email.

The post was for other Fisker owners whose VINs are on the list and due replacement batteries but may not have been as aggressive as one needs to be to get action on this matter.
 

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I seem to remember Fisker initially saying the worst of the bad batteries failed immediately, but capacity of others might degrade faster than normal over time. The latter may have been conservative speculation by the engineers -- maybe they've since discovered that in fact the batteries either fail quickly or stay OK. Hence they prefer to base the replacements on diagnostics rather than just the VIN list.

You said your new battery pack seems to have 2 miles more range, let's say 5% better. 5% could be within normal capacity tolerances -- certainly within temperature variation tolerances. From an engineering, financial, and environmental viewpoint, replacing $25,000 lithium battery packs that may or may not have lost a mile or two of range seems hard to swallow. Only makes sense from a customer satisfaction standpoint.

In any case the battery company is now bankrupt and their investors (including taxpayers) lost nearly a billion dollars, despite having a leading technology.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I expected a 15 - 20% performance boost, based on the experience of other drivers as posted in the various threads relating to mileage per charge. If I had been told beforehand I would only see a 2 mile per charge increase, I wouldn't have pushed for the exchange. However, I'm still puzzled by the 69% health number, and can only suspect the new battery will last longer than the old one would have and I'm better off for the exchange.
 

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I experienced the following symptoms that led to Fisker replacing my battery about 2 months ago:

1) Charging time gradually lengthened from 5 1/2-6 hours for a full charge to 7 1/2+ hours over a period of 2-3 months

2) Several times the car seemingly kept charging as long as it was plugged in. The Battery Range stayed at 50 miles for the first 6-8 miles of driving!

3) CEL started coming on almost every day, apparently related to the battery.

My conclusion is that you will know when your battery is failing because its charging behavior will change.
 
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