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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This past weekend I got a demo from the local Fisker dealer here in Austin TX. While I love the way the car looks, I have a few questions I would like to find out from someone who actually owns the car.

The first issue I had was the car seemed to "lurch" at low speeds. It felt very similar to a vibration from an out of balance tire, but it was a definite forward rapid jerk. Has anyone experienced or heard of this before?

Secondly, I noticed the miles I achieved on battery power was nowhere near 50. A more realistic number would be about 1/2 whatever the battery gauge indicated. This morning it showed 38 when I left the house and about 16 miles later the generator kicked on. I was driving very conservative with no punches on the accelerator. (I got that out of my system the day before!) Is this the norm?

Thanks for any help offered,
Wade
 

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Welcome to the forum, Wade! Like you, I came to the fiskerbuzz forum to get questions answered and to decide whether or not to purchase one of these beautiful cars. I found the openness of this forum--the willingness for owners to bluntly criticize the car and also to praise its many assets--to be very helpful. I finally took the plunge and took delivery of my car 2 weeks ago. I wish I had not waited so long!!

The 'lurch' that you felt at low speeds has been corrected by the latest software update. My guess is that the car your Fisker dealer allowed you to drive home does not have the latest software. You should ask them which version of the software that particular car is running. For your info, the latest version of the software, released just a few days ago, is 510 (the version just prior to that were 6.15 and 6.28, so it's a little confusing that the newest software is actually a lower number, but there ya' go).

The mileage you are able to get out of the battery depends on a number of conditions: your driving style (faster stops/starts = lower mileage....smooth, slow acceleration with as few stops as possible = better mileage), your speed (again, slow and smooth is preferable), ambient temperature, the route you take (uphill grades sap battery reserves while downhill grades can be used to regenerate the battery...flat roads are better than hills), the air conditioner will cause mileage in stealth mode to suffer, etc...

I think most members here routinely get about 35-40 miles out of a full battery charge. 45 miles is achievable if you really know how to drive the car to get the most out of the battery AND conditions (ambient temp/speed/flat road/etc...) are near perfect. One member posted that he'd gotten 50 miles out of a full charge, but I think that expecting to get 50 miles out of a full charge on a routine basis is as unrealistic as expecting a gasoline powered car to get the same gas mileage you see on the sticker.

Here are a couple of threads concerning getting the most out of your battery:
http://fiskerbuzz.com/forums/Thread-Driving-Efficiency-Getting-More-Miles
http://fiskerbuzz.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=2274
http://fiskerbuzz.com/forums/Thread-How-to-get-50-miles-on-a-charge

Hope to see you around the forum. Don't be shy about posting. And if you have any questions, feel free to drop me a private message.
 

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wthreadgill said:
Secondly, I noticed the miles I achieved on battery power was nowhere near 50. A more realistic number would be about 1/2 whatever the battery gauge indicated. This morning it showed 38 when I left the house and about 16 miles later the generator kicked on. I was driving very conservative with no punches on the accelerator. (I got that out of my system the day before!) Is this the norm?
Wade: Welcome to the forum and we look forward to your contributions. Regarding the range, I managed to average 44 Miles on my commute cycle of 90 miles by driving smoothly, staying off Hill mode, and keeping the speed at 65 MPH or less. See the detailed post here. It requires a lot of discipline and you need to ignore all the cars passing you on the highway. But even driving normally, I routinely get 40+ miles per charge at highway speeds, so it can be done. Speed appears to be the biggest factor. The faster you go, the quicker you use up the fuel. This is true of gas engines as well but it is more noticeable in EV's because of more precise instrumentation and more limited EV range compared to gas engines.

As others have said, please feel free to ask any questions you have. There are a bunch of very enthusiastic Karma owners and drivers on this forum as well as a few techs, so chances are your question has already been asked and answered before, or someone here knows the right answer if it has not.
 

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Welcome Wade and I hope that you will make the purchase. As many others said, owning Karma is an emotional experience and not everyone is up to the task :)

I think in mixed mode driving (city and highway) without altering your driving style you should expect to last 40 miles. 45 miles are possible with lots of self-imposed discipline, taking away all joys of driving. I would guess than in few years batteries will get better milage and there will be an option to switch to more powerful unit while preserving the investment in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
doug said:
Wade, what other vehicles are you considering?
None really. I saw the Karma at the airport and thought it made a bold statement. I really like the car but all the issues around battery and company finances are making nervous.
 

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wthreadgill said:
Wade, what other vehicles are you considering?

None really. I saw the Karma at the airport and thought it made a bold statement. I really like the car but all the issues around battery and company finances are making nervous.
Wade, I don't think anything any of us say here on the Fiskerbuzz can reduce the risk of buying a Fisker. The car is the 1st model year of a brand new company; there is both a financial and time risk.

I normally wouldn't have considered buying a car with predictible growing pains. But am I glad I did!

I love looking at it when I get in, the interior is beautiful and comfortable, and my gas mileage is 183/mpg over the last 7 months of ownership. In fact, I hope my spouse will purchase a Fisker Atlantic when he needs to pass his current daily driver down to our soon to be driving teenager.

Good luck with your research! If you do buy a Fisker, be prepared for a lot of attention. Just as you noticed one at the airport, mine is noticed everywhere I go.
 

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wthreadgill said:
doug said:
Wade, what other vehicles are you considering?
None really. I saw the Karma at the airport and thought it made a bold statement. I really like the car but all the issues around battery and company finances are making nervous.
Wade,

Can you say more about "issues around battery" and "company finances"? If we knew a little more specifically what your concerns are, I think we'd be better able to help you.

Thanks!

Weird Fishes
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Weird Fishes said:
Can you say more about "issues around battery" and "company finances"? If we knew a little more specifically what your concerns are, I think we'd be better able to help you.
I read that all the Karmas will need the battery replaced. A123 agreed to warranty them but since Fisker was 25% of their business coupled with other issues, they filed for bankruptcy. It is doubtful that after all the dust settles the batteries will be warrantied by A123 thus putting the burden on the already cash strapped Fisker.

As I understand the other vehicles to be developed were put on hold due to finances and though they have raised more capital, it is not enough to bring the vehicles to market. Thus the Karma, (which appears to be growing in foreign markets are beginning to slow in the states), will need to sustain the brand for the next 18 or so months. As I understand engineering and factory layoffs have already occurred.

It also appears that 2 of the original 5 dealers here in Texas have ceased their affiliation with Fisker.

I love the car but I think I should take a "wait and see" attitude until the first of the year.
 

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There's undoubtedly risk in being a Fisker investor or owner the first year but there's also reward in driving a uniquely enjoyable car, showing it off and supporting amazing product design. I put off my purchase a few months too but now that I have it to drive and stare at everyday I wouldn't do without my Karma!

People thought apple was gonna die ten years ago and look where it is now, thanks to better product design than it's competitors that make consumers LOVE the product. To make the big returns you gotta buy when company news headlines all seem bad, so the majority are fearful, yet the product is strong.
 

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wthreadgill said:
I read that all the Karmas will need the battery replaced. A123 agreed to warranty them but since Fisker was 25% of their business coupled with other issues, they filed for bankruptcy. It is doubtful that after all the dust settles the batteries will be warrantied by A123 thus putting the burden on the already cash strapped Fisker.

As I understand the other vehicles to be developed were put on hold due to finances and though they have raised more capital, it is not enough to bring the vehicles to market. Thus the Karma, (which appears to be growing in foreign markets are beginning to slow in the states), will need to sustain the brand for the next 18 or so months. As I understand engineering and factory layoffs have already occurred.

It also appears that 2 of the original 5 dealers here in Texas have ceased their affiliation with Fisker.

I love the car but I think I should take a "wait and see" attitude until the first of the year.
Ah. Now I understand. Thanks!

My understanding--and if I bungle this, will someone on the forum please correct me--is that a certain percentage of A123 batteries were found to have a defect in the cells and that Fisker corporate has a list of VIN numbers of Karmas that received those defective batteries. In other words, not every Karma has a defective battery.

Originally, A123 was obligated to provide Fisker with new batteries so dealers could replace the defective batteries at no cost to Fisker. Given that A123 is restructuring, no one, including Fisker corporate, realistically expects them to be able to make good on that obligation.

However, Fisker reiterated their commitment to Karma owners in a post here on the forum and in a similar letter sent to each owner of the Karma. You can read that post here: http://fiskerbuzz.com/forums/Thread-From-Fisker-Automotive

Meanwhile, A123 filed bankruptcy under Chapter 11 which allows for reorganization/restructuring. And now two companies, Wanxiang Group out of China and JCI Systems, are vying to purchase the assets of A123. Since A123 received government funding and members of Congresss have objected to the company being owned by a Chinese company, so it looks like JCI will prevail. People within Fisker corporate have indicated to several of us that they believe this will ultimately be better for Fisker and for owners of Fisker Karmas because JCI is a Tier One supplier of batteries with whom Fisker already has a relationship.

As for the Fisker dealerships in Texas, closing, I am not in the auto industry, and I don't have any inside information on why they closed. However, I think it is less a statement about Fisker and probably more a statement on each dealership, their cash reserves and how long their individual financial situations allowed them to keep X number of $100,000+ cars on their lots.

It takes a certain mentality to be an early adopter of a new product/brand/technology. Especially when that particular product sets you back six figures. So I can understand your reluctance to jump right in. I was also reluctant, so I hung around this forum for a few months asking questions. I'm REALLY glad I decided to buy my Fisker. I *love* driving it!

p.s.--the 2013 model year should be coming out fairly soon. I'm guessing you might be able to get a deal on a 2012 that is still sitting on a dealer's lot.
 

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Weird Fishes said:
wthreadgill said:
I read that all the Karmas will need the battery replaced. A123 agreed to warranty them but since Fisker was 25% of their business coupled with other issues, they filed for bankruptcy. It is doubtful that after all the dust settles the batteries will be warrantied by A123 thus putting the burden on the already cash strapped Fisker.

As I understand the other vehicles to be developed were put on hold due to finances and though they have raised more capital, it is not enough to bring the vehicles to market. Thus the Karma, (which appears to be growing in foreign markets are beginning to slow in the states), will need to sustain the brand for the next 18 or so months. As I understand engineering and factory layoffs have already occurred.

It also appears that 2 of the original 5 dealers here in Texas have ceased their affiliation with Fisker.

I love the car but I think I should take a "wait and see" attitude until the first of the year.
Ah. Now I understand. Thanks!

My understanding--and if I bungle this, will someone on the forum please correct me--is that a certain percentage of A123 batteries were found to have a defect in the cells and that Fisker corporate has a list of VIN numbers of Karmas that received those defective batteries. In other words, not every Karma has a defective battery.

Originally, A123 was obligated to provide Fisker with new batteries so dealers could replace the defective batteries at no cost to Fisker. Given that A123 is restructuring, no one, including Fisker corporate, realistically expects them to be able to make good on that obligation.

However, Fisker reiterated their commitment to Karma owners in a post here on the forum and in a similar letter sent to each owner of the Karma. You can read that post here: http://fiskerbuzz.com/forums/Thread-From-Fisker-Automotive

Meanwhile, A123 filed bankruptcy under Chapter 11 which allows for reorganization/restructuring. And now two companies, Wanxiang Group out of China and JCI Systems, are vying to purchase the assets of A123. Since A123 received government funding and members of Congresss have objected to the company being owned by a Chinese company, so it looks like JCI will prevail. People within Fisker corporate have indicated to several of us that they believe this will ultimately be better for Fisker and for owners of Fisker Karmas because JCI is a Tier One supplier of batteries with whom Fisker already has a relationship.

As for the Fisker dealerships in Texas, closing, I am not in the auto industry, and I don't have any inside information on why they closed. However, I think it is less a statement about Fisker and probably more a statement on each dealership, their cash reserves and how long their individual financial situations allowed them to keep X number of $100,000+ cars on their lots.

It takes a certain mentality to be an early adopter of a new product/brand/technology. Especially when that particular product sets you back six figures. So I can understand your reluctance to jump right in. I was also reluctant, so I hung around this forum for a few months asking questions. I'm REALLY glad I decided to buy my Fisker. I *love* driving it!

p.s.--the 2013 model year should be coming out fairly soon. I'm guessing you might be able to get a deal on a 2012 that is still sitting on a dealer's lot.
No need to wait, cars.com has cars fr 84k - ecosport with tri-tone.
[hr]
wthreadgill said:
Weird Fishes said:
Can you say more about "issues around battery" and "company finances"? If we knew a little more specifically what your concerns are, I think we'd be better able to help you.
I read that all the Karmas will need the battery replaced. A123 agreed to warranty them but since Fisker was 25% of their business coupled with other issues, they filed for bankruptcy. It is doubtful that after all the dust settles the batteries will be warrantied by A123 thus putting the burden on the already cash strapped Fisker.

As I understand the other vehicles to be developed were put on hold due to finances and though they have raised more capital, it is not enough to bring the vehicles to market. Thus the Karma, (which appears to be growing in foreign markets are beginning to slow in the states), will need to sustain the brand for the next 18 or so months. As I understand engineering and factory layoffs have already occurred.

It also appears that 2 of the original 5 dealers here in Texas have ceased their affiliation with Fisker.

I love the car but I think I should take a "wait and see" attitude until the first of the year.
My two cents as an owner. If your research on this blog makes you feel comfortable with the quirks of the car, your test drive was memorable , you have to have this car and you have the budget, then go ahead and buy one - it's a wonderful piece of art you can drive, otherwise wait till the next model year and get an improved product.
 

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Nin ja said:
My two cents as an owner. If your research on this blog makes you feel comfortable with the quirks of the car, your test drive was memorable , you have to have this car and you have the budget, then go ahead and buy one - it's a wonderful piece of art you can drive, otherwise wait till the next model year and get an improved product.
Almost all of the quirks in the Karma have been software related, and Fisker has been addressing them on a continual basis. Since the installation of the 510 software release in my car, all of the quirks are gone. I haven't had a single instance of the car doing something unexpected like not enabling the backup camera's display when shifting to reverse or getting stuck on the Fisker logo at startup. With the exception of the sub-standard UI for the Command Center, I have no more issues. And I expect that will eventually be remedied by Fisker with a future software release. So from my perspective, there is no necessity to wait for a future model year - you can enjoy the Karma now.
 

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Weird Fishes said:
My understanding--and if I bungle this, will someone on the forum please correct me--is that a certain percentage of A123 batteries were found to have a defect in the cells and that Fisker corporate has a list of VIN numbers of Karmas that received those defective batteries. In other words, not every Karma has a defective battery.
[snip]
Minor correction, for some reason they don't have them by VIN—which would make it easy to tell if you have a bad one, you could just look at your VIN and get the answer on the phone—they have them by some other ID that requires inspecting the battery. So, you have to go in to the dealer and they put the car up on the lift and find out.

The welding-machine issue was caught in the early part of this year, so unless they had a lot of "bad parts" inventory, any car made recently should be fine.[hr]
Nin ja said:
No need to wait, cars.com has cars fr 84k - ecosport with tri-tone.
[hr]
My two cents as an owner. If your research on this blog makes you feel comfortable with the quirks of the car, your test drive was memorable , you have to have this car and you have the budget, then go ahead and buy one - it's a wonderful piece of art you can drive, otherwise wait till the next model year and get an improved product.
I have a funny feeling that if you go to one of those "for $84k" dealers, the $84k car will have mysteriously been sold already or something and the price will actually be $99k, or some such. (Unless it's a used one, anyway.)

I agree that it's driveable art. All of my issues so far have been with software, and they are mere irritations (although irritations are, well, irritating :D).
 

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Almost all of the quirks in the Karma have been software related, and Fisker has been addressing them on a continual basis. Since the installation of the 510 software release in my car, all of the quirks are gone. I haven't had a single instance of the car doing something unexpected like not enabling the backup camera's display when shifting to reverse or getting stuck on the Fisker logo at startup. With the exception of the sub-standard UI for the Command Center, I have no more issues. And I expect that will eventually be remedied by Fisker with a future software release. So from my perspective, there is no necessity to wait for a future model year - you can enjoy the Karma now.
Dennis I'm real glad you had limited issues, I've had more, and some of the quirks I'm referring to are related to some creator conforts , like easy entry and exit , roominess , touch screen visibility, fit and finish issues that are related to each individual car.

Btw, I was trying to provide the potential owner/buyer my experince with my karma.:angel:
 
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