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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All,

After researching the A123 defective battery issue, I still remain unsure which of the following scenarios is true:

A) *ALL* (or nearly all) Fisker Karmas made up until the defect was discovered (around March 2012) received batteries processed at the improperly calibrated welding station at A123. Even though only a small percentage of these batteries will undergo premature failure (perhaps 1%?), virtually all Karmas will need their batteries replaced once the non-defective ones are in good supply.

B) Only a small fraction of Karmas made up until the defect was discovered received batteries that have the defect. Therefore the majority of Karmas will not need a replacement battery before the natural lifetime of the battery ends.

Fisker's own information, as well as independent news reports, have been conflicting in this regard. I've read "all", "most", and "only a tiny fraction" of Karmas may have received a defective battery.

Does anyone have information about which possibility is (more) correct?

Thanks.
 

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Dealers seem to be similarly in the dark. I asked just the other day about status, and was told that they have no idea just yet whether all batteries will be replaced or simply the small number of affected batteries. Apparently Fisker Corporate is staying mum on the issue. Sounds like an issue that needs pressing at the next Town Hall meeting....
 

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Fisker has said 1% of cars are involved, so option B if that is true.

As long as our batteries are behaving and car are driving find, let's be patient. The extended guarantee is already in the bag, and if a new battery is needed for our cars we will be informed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I called Fisker Customer Service and the very helpful representative was able to confirm very clearly that that my VIN number (which hasn't left NJ yet) is affected and will need a battery replacement eventually. So apparently the affected vehicle VIN list or range is known, and you can call to check yours. This admittedly small data set also suggests, however, that it's not just 1% of cars that are vulnerable, unless I happen to be incredibly unlucky.

Of course we all know that it's not a very urgent fix, that only a tiny fraction of cars will actually manifest problems, that the batteries are not available now to do all the needed replacements, etc. But all that said, it would be interesting to hear from the rest of you if your VIN number is also on the affected list according to Fisker.
 

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The trick is to read A123's statements. They say that one of four welding machines was mis-calibrated, which means approximately one out of four cells are bad; but at the same time, each battery has enough cells that virtually all batteries produced at the plant are affected; that in turn (here I have to guess a bit), about one out of fifty batteries will be sufficiently bad as to fail quickly; and last, that this affects one of two battery-production-plants in Michigan (and no plants outside the country).

Now we assemble all these pieces. The Karma's batteries are made in those two Michigan plants. If your vehicle has a battery from Plant G (G for Good), it's OK. If it has a battery from plant B (for Bad), it's bad. That's about one out of two Karmas with a bad battery. If you do have a bad battery, you have about a 1-out-of-50 chance of having a really bad battery, and about a 49-out-of-50 chance of having a slightly bad battery (my guess: "slightly bad" means that you'll get no-more-than-35 miles on a charge, instead of 40-to-50). And, in turn, that means that about 1 out of 100 Karmas (or 1%, or about 6 out of the about 600 customers) will see total battery failure. About 50% (about 300 customers) will say "50 miles per charge, what BS!" :)
 

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Before you start calling your dealers: we are in the dark as much as you are right now, and our normal contacts at fisker (the aftersales support group) haven't seen much more data than us either. now just from watching the State of Health on customers cars coming through for the 615 update, i'd say probably 10-15% are going to see a need for replacement within the next year, while the rest will go about ten years. only seen two so far that need immediate replacement and both were very low miles (sub 1000).
 

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Nimisys said:
Before you start calling your dealers: we are in the dark as much as you are right now, and our normal contacts at fisker (the aftersales support group) haven't seen much more data than us either. now just from watching the State of Health on customers cars coming through for the 615 update, i'd say probably 10-15% are going to see a need for replacement within the next year, while the rest will go about ten years. only seen two so far that need immediate replacement and both were very low miles (sub 1000).
Nimysys - do you agree that the suggestion that some of us are only seeing 30-35 miles/charge because of the faulty battery?
 

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Incidentally—and this may be way too simple since batteries aren't really linear like this, but the numbers sure seem suspicious—it's noteworthy that "one out of four welding machines was producing bad cells" implies that, on average, the bad batteries have 75% "good" cells and 25% "bad" cells. Now, take 75% of "50 miles" and you get ... 37.5 miles. 75% of "45 miles" is 33.75 miles, and 75% of 40 is 30 miles. So with a nominal 40-to-50-mile range for a "100% good" battery, you could expect 30-to-37.5 miles for a "75% good, 25% bad" battery.
 

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ct-fiskerbuzz said:
Incidentally—and this may be way too simple since batteries aren't really linear like this, but the numbers sure seem suspicious—it's noteworthy that "one out of four welding machines was producing bad cells" implies that, on average, the bad batteries have 75% "good" cells and 25% "bad" cells. Now, take 75% of "50 miles" and you get ... 37.5 miles. 75% of "45 miles" is 33.75 miles, and 75% of 40 is 30 miles. So with a nominal 40-to-50-mile range for a "100% good" battery, you could expect 30-to-37.5 miles for a "75% good, 25% bad" battery.



Your all electric range is going to vary based on a lot of things, but not percentage of "bad" cells is not one worth calculating. Batteries do not work like that. Unfortunately, it is closer to an all or nothing scenario. 1 bad cell of the 315 cells will probably give you a complete pack failure before you notice a 0.3% reduction of power.
 

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bigdaddyo811 said:
I emailed customer service and they told me my battery was manufactured in Korea and thus does not need to be replaced.
Cells = Korean
Battery assembly = USA USA USA USA USA
 

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I have to agree with Nimisys we have no data at all at this time on who's car is going to get a new battery .I feel the engineers are working with A123 to make a determination on what cars will fall into the range of cars that will need replacement and until that is made I wouldn't believe anything until they make a official release .
 

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ct-fiskerbuzz said:
The trick is to read A123's statements. They say that one of four welding machines was mis-calibrated, which means approximately one out of four cells are bad; but at the same time, each battery has enough cells that virtually all batteries produced at the plant are affected; that in turn (here I have to guess a bit), about one out of fifty batteries will be sufficiently bad as to fail quickly; and last, that this affects one of two battery-production-plants in Michigan (and no plants outside the country).

Now we assemble all these pieces. The Karma's batteries are made in those two Michigan plants. If your vehicle has a battery from Plant G (G for Good), it's OK. If it has a battery from plant B (for Bad), it's bad. That's about one out of two Karmas with a bad battery. If you do have a bad battery, you have about a 1-out-of-50 chance of having a really bad battery, and about a 49-out-of-50 chance of having a slightly bad battery (my guess: "slightly bad" means that you'll get no-more-than-35 miles on a charge, instead of 40-to-50). And, in turn, that means that about 1 out of 100 Karmas (or 1%, or about 6 out of the about 600 customers) will see total battery failure. About 50% (about 300 customers) will say "50 miles per charge, what BS!" :)
Don't you just love probabilities in math? Thanks for thinking through the practical implications. Assuming your math, it seems to fit the discussion thread about how many miles different people were getting on a charge.

My car is also in NJ, getting 6.15 before transport... fingers crossed.
 

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I wonder if the "slightly bad" batteries are still being installed in new production cars, or if Fisker sorted them out of their inventory. From the press releases (Fisker & A123), it sounds like new replacement batteries will be released through the year (as they are produced), but they don't mention immediate replacement of Fisker's current production battery inventory.
 

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Nimisys said:
Before you start calling your dealers: we are in the dark as much as you are right now, and our normal contacts at fisker (the aftersales support group) haven't seen much more data than us either. now just from watching the State of Health on customers cars coming through for the 615 update, i'd say probably 10-15% are going to see a need for replacement within the next year, while the rest will go about ten years. only seen two so far that need immediate replacement and both were very low miles (sub 1000).
Add mine to the list confirmed today. 1k miles. Driving loaner.
 

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I'm getting high 30s.

THey told me that "my battery did not need to be replaced". I wonder if I want to get it replaced if I can...


BDO


Sparky168 said:
bigdaddyo811 said:
I emailed customer service and they told me my battery was manufactured in Korea and thus does not need to be replaced.
Bigdaddy, what is your electric miles like?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It would be nice (and much more efficient for both sides) if Fisker just released a list of 4-digit VINs affected by the battery defect. Given that we are customers who agreed to serve as Fisker's early adopters/testers and paid handsomely for these cars, many of which have a significant defect, I don't think this request is asking too much!
 

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drliu said:
All,

After researching the A123 defective battery issue, I still remain unsure which of the following scenarios is true:

A) *ALL* (or nearly all) Fisker Karmas made up until the defect was discovered (around March 2012) received batteries processed at the improperly calibrated welding station at A123. Even though only a small percentage of these batteries will undergo premature failure (perhaps 1%?), virtually all Karmas will need their batteries replaced once the non-defective ones are in good supply.

B) Only a small fraction of Karmas made up until the defect was discovered received batteries that have the defect. Therefore the majority of Karmas will not need a replacement battery before the natural lifetime of the battery ends.

Fisker's own information, as well as independent news reports, have been conflicting in this regard. I've read "all", "most", and "only a tiny fraction" of Karmas may have received a defective battery.

Does anyone have information about which possibility is (more) correct?

Thanks.
My understand from my dealer is that ALL batteries are going to be replaced. They are rolling out the new batteries and replacing them in vin order starting with the lowest. There is no concern about short term problems. The dealers are actually anxious to do this as they get paid plenty by Fisker to do the work. Also, attached to this issue, Fisker has announced that ALL cars now are covered for 6 years and 60K miles
 

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Mike said:
My understand from my dealer is that ALL batteries are going to be replaced. They are rolling out the new batteries and replacing them in vin order starting with the lowest. There is no concern about short term problems. The dealers are actually anxious to do this as they get paid plenty by Fisker to do the work. Also, attached to this issue, Fisker has announced that ALL cars now are covered for 6 years and 60K miles
60 Mos/ 60K Miles :cool:
 
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