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EX:Shadow/Canyon #324
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brian said:
Oh boy...

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120508/CARNEWS/120509860
I was glad to see they quoted Fisker's response:

Last week, Fisker Automotive was made aware of a garage fire involving three vehicles, including a Karma sedan, that were parked at a newly-constructed residence in Sugar Land, Texas. There were no injuries.

There are conflicting reports and uncertainty surrounding this particular incident. The cause of the fire is not yet known and is being investigated.

We have not yet seen any written report form the Fort Bend fire department and believe that their investigation is continuing. As of now, multiple insurance investigators are involved, and we have not ruled out possible fraud or malicious intent. We are aware that fireworks were found in the garage in or around the vehicles. Also, an electrical panel located in the garage next to the vehicles is also being examined by the investigators as well as fire department officials. Based on initial observations and inspections, the Karma's lithium ion battery pack was not being charged at the time and is still intact and does not appear to have been a contributing factor in this incident.

Fisker will continue to participate fully in the investigation but will not be commenting further until all the facts are established.
 

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To be safe, it's probably smart to keep the car outside until this is resolved and the cause determined, IMHO.
 

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dennis said:
brian said:
Oh boy...

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120508/CARNEWS/120509860
I was glad to see they quoted Fisker's response:

Last week, Fisker Automotive was made aware of a garage fire involving three vehicles, including a Karma sedan, that were parked at a newly-constructed residence in Sugar Land, Texas. There were no injuries.

There are conflicting reports and uncertainty surrounding this particular incident. The cause of the fire is not yet known and is being investigated.

We have not yet seen any written report form the Fort Bend fire department and believe that their investigation is continuing. As of now, multiple insurance investigators are involved, and we have not ruled out possible fraud or malicious intent. We are aware that fireworks were found in the garage in or around the vehicles. Also, an electrical panel located in the garage next to the vehicles is also being examined by the investigators as well as fire department officials. Based on initial observations and inspections, the Karma's lithium ion battery pack was not being charged at the time and is still intact and does not appear to have been a contributing factor in this incident.

Fisker will continue to participate fully in the investigation but will not be commenting further until all the facts are established.
I like Fisker's very fact-intensive "No Comment" statement. It will be interesting to see how the investigation turns out.
 

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EX:Shadow/Canyon #324
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matrix said:
To be safe, it's probably smart to keep the car outside until this is resolved and the cause determined, IMHO.
With ~1000 cars on the road, only one such incident reported and the cause still unverified, I'm keeping my Karma in the garage away from falling trees. ;)
 

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Ouch!




Have to say, though, the entire article is based on the word of one guy, Robert Baker, and he doesn't seem particularly well informed.

Baker estimated damages at roughly $100,000, not including the other two vehicles in the garage, a Mercedes-Benz SUV and an Acura NSX.

“This looks just like golf cart fires we have down here,” said Baker. The suburban Houston area has approximately 50 golf cart fires a year, he said.
The car alone is worth over $100K, what about the garage damage. I'd bet most of those golf cart fires occur during charging (due to a cheap BMS), but the article says the Karma wasn't charging when this fire occurred.
 

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Unfortunately facts will have very little to do with driving the narrative. Brace for an onslaught of Fisker Karma Explodes headlines. They're coming.
 

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I wonder if the owner came home in Stealth or Sport Mode. If the 'cause' was the Karma, if the battery was not being charged, and if the battery was still 'intact' (as is being claimed, although I find that hard to believe if you look at the charred remains), then maybe the gasoline engine was the cause. Making it not so much an EV-thing. But that's pure speculation.

By the way, thousands of cars burn every day. No hyped reports on that. Ferrari's have a high burn rate. But that doesn't seem to be much cause for alarm either.
 

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I hope it's not anyone from the forum... I know we have some great people from Texas who participate in this forum... crossing my fingers.

Some more details from Wired magazine:

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/05/fisker-karma-fire/

From the above link:
After a fire engulfed a Fisker Karma owner’s garage in Sugar Land, Texas, last week, officials claim the plug-in hybrid sedan was the cause of the blaze.

According to a report from Autoweek, Robert Baker, the chief fire investigator for Fort Bend County in Texas, says the “Karma was the origin of the fire, but what exactly caused that we don’t know at this time.”

Baker says the driver parked the Karma in the garage and minutes later, the Fisker was on fire. The sedan was not plugged in at the time and no injuries were reported from the incident.

In a statement released by Fisker, the automaker says the cause of the fire “is not yet known and is being investigated,” going on to state that “multiple insurance investigators are involved, and we have not ruled out the possibility of fraud or malicious intent.”

The release also states that, “We are aware that fireworks were found in the garage in or around the vehicles. Also, an electrical panel located in the garage next to the vehicles is also being examined by the investigators as well as fire department officials. Based on initial observations and inspections, the Karma’s lithium ion battery pack was not being charged at the time and is still intact and does not appear to have been a contributing factor in this incident.”

The automaker will not comment further on the matter, “until all the facts are established.”

The fire comes less than two months after Fisker and its battery partner, A123 Systems, recalled 640 vehicles due to a possible battery defect. The Karma that supposedly started the fire was reportedly a post-recall vehicle.[hr]
 

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Dutch said:
By the way, thousands of cars burn every day. No hyped reports on that. Ferrari's have a high burn rate. But that doesn't seem to be much cause for alarm either.
While that is true, Ferrari has not received any loans from the US Government so their car fires have no political propaganda value. Besides, Ferraris are expected to catch fire, so it's not really a surprise when one does. :D
 

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drliu said:
I hope it's not anyone from the forum... I know we have some great people from Texas who participate in this forum... crossing my fingers.

Some more details from Wired magazine:

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/05/fisker-karma-fire/

In a statement released by Fisker, the automaker says the cause of the fire “is not yet known and is being investigated,” going on to state that “multiple insurance investigators are involved, and we have not ruled out the possibility of fraud or malicious intent.”

The release also states that, “We are aware that fireworks were found in the garage in or around the vehicles. Also, an electrical panel located in the garage next to the vehicles is also being examined by the investigators as well as fire department officials. Based on initial observations and inspections, the Karma’s lithium ion battery pack was not being charged at the time and is still intact and does not appear to have been a contributing factor in this incident.”

[hr]
The important two paragraphs.
 

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Just curious, the pic shows the karma from the side, burnt, and it appeared the garage burnt down around it until i saw a shot of the front of the house on here.....this home appears to have a 2 car garage, the garage was still structurally in tact, but it was reported there were 3 cars in the garage & the owner reported the car caught fire within minutes after pulling in the garage.....how can that be? Even if the house had a 2 car door with room for 3 cars, i highly doubt the fire dept hooked onto the car & pulled it out of the garage....has anyone else noticed this??
 

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This is not helpful to the resale value of the Karmas... let's hope the investigation finds it was user-error (why would anyone keep fireworks near an electrical box and cars is beyond me)...and that it has nothing to do with the Karma!
 

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I had a Porsche 911 Catch fire in my front yard about 20 min after I parked it.

My guess is the chief fire investigator was engaged in what I like to call "Wild ass guessing" and/or "Idle speculation and shooting off his mouth" just a guess. I'm sure that the only thing NEW in the garage was the Fisker so that just had to be it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
kwsmith007 said:
I had a Porsche 911 Catch fire in my front yard about 20 min after I parked it.

My guess is the chief fire investigator was engaged in what I like to call "Wild ass guessing" and/or "Idle speculation and shooting off his mouth" just a guess. I'm sure that the only thing NEW in the garage was the Fisker so that just had to be it.
Fire Chiefs are pretty well educated in this kind of thing, and they know how to spot the origins of a fire. If he says it came from the Karma then I'd trust his assessment. Sugar Land Texas is not a tiny little town with Bubba as the Fire Chief. It's essentially a suburb of Houston, so their guys are well trained.

-Brian
 

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kwsmith007 said:
My guess is the chief fire investigator was engaged in what I like to call "Wild ass guessing" and/or "Idle speculation and shooting off his mouth" just a guess. I'm sure that the only thing NEW in the garage was the Fisker so that just had to be it.
After looking at the AutoWeek photos, there's hardly anything left of the Karma... it's ashes. At least you can sort of identify the other vehicle in the photo. These guys are professionals, and the chief sounds very confident of the origin, but not the cause.
 

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matrix said:
kwsmith007 said:
My guess is the chief fire investigator was engaged in what I like to call "Wild ass guessing" and/or "Idle speculation and shooting off his mouth" just a guess. I'm sure that the only thing NEW in the garage was the Fisker so that just had to be it.
After looking at the AutoWeek photos, there's hardly anything left of the Karma... it's ashes. At least you can sort of identify the other vehicle in the photo. These guys are professionals, and the chief sounds very confident of the origin, but not the cause.
Karma burnt to total ashes and the battery is intact, no thermal runaway. That is good :D
 

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I wouldn't jump to any conspiracy theories yet. Based on what's reported and on the photo evidence it seems likely that the Karma was the origin of the fire, though it's important to emphasize that the cause is still completely unknown. It could be Karma-related even if not the battery pack, or it could be something completely unrelated to the car other than its location. Only time will tell.
 

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brian said:
Fire Chiefs are pretty well educated in this kind of thing, and they know how to spot the origins of a fire. If he says it came from the Karma then I'd trust his assessment. Sugar Land Texas is not a tiny little town with Bubba as the Fire Chief. It's essentially a suburb of Houston, so their guys are well trained.

-Brian
With all due respect to Sugar Land's finest, any investigator who says “[t]his looks just like golf cart fires we have down here” while the cause is still under investigation is getting way ahead of the evidence (that actually contradicts his assertion because the HV battery is still intact), making his opinions inherently suspect. I also think that Fisker's zeal in emphasizing that there were fireworks in the garage sounds a bit desperate, and who has ever seen a garage without at least one electrical panel in it? So none of this is particularly helpful in finding the cause of the fire. As has already been pointed out, just because the Fisker is at the point of origin of the fire, it does not mean it caused the fire. So I am just going to wait for the full investigation.
 
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