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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been trying to locate just the right Karma. I have not pulled the trigger because I am a bit spooked with some of the repair stories I hear.

I know the battery fix and the motors are the biggies. However, assuming the car I get has ALL of the updates, I am guessing I should have a good experience.

But, I was curious how much you owners have spent and what to expect before I jump in. I love the car....really love the car, but don't have an unlimited wallet to throw at it.

thanks for any and all input.
 

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Since 2011, I've not spend a dime on my Karma maintenance. I bought it from Frank Kent in Ft. Worth, Texas and they have honored the warranty all along. I've had a free loaner car when it's been in for service. I've been one lucky dude.
 

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All the major issues on my car, including the RDM replacement, were handled under warranty in 2012. My personal expenditures have been limited to the 30K Mile service (including the installation of four new tires) and repairing an issue with the fuel vent system that was causing the ICE to fire up too frequently. Other than installing the new tires, I could have deferred everything else, and it all cost less than $1K.
 

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I have cars on the road that owners haven't spent a money and a couple that have spent up too 15K for repairs . I find that traction motors and RDM don't fail as often in Florida as other areas that have hills .
 

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I've spent about $2,000 on various issues, some not Fisker issues but poor driving techniques. :)
 

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7500 miles, 3 years: $700 for 4 new tires, similar amount for minor regular services. That is all. No new motors at this point, as I have been lucky to have no issues. But the RDM is always a possibility you should be aware of and ready to deal with. It's one of teh only reasons you can get these cars at such a great price. The P($Fail) is priced in.
 

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This car is not for the faint of heart. If you're a nervous type or a worry wart then just buy a new Honda. Because if you don't live close to one of the trusted technicians on this board and you're the obsessive type, then this car is clearly not for you.

Oh, and just remember - you're buying a $110k car for the 60's, so factor that into your rationale if/when problems crop up.

I'll say this: at these prices and with its exclusivity and presence, its a lot of car for the money. But I've owned a lot of new cars in my life and overall, the quality and fit on this car is about the worst. Temper that into your buying decision as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
"This car is not for the faint of heart. If you're a nervous type or a worry wart then just buy a new Honda."

I had considered an old Honda, lol (an NSX).

Thank You for the reply. I am assuming by your comment that you mean this despite the car having had all of the upgrades and already the RDM/motors/battery/ etc. as well?

The inconvienience of the dealer, I can deal with. It is not going to be my primary car. I am in Metro New York, so I would be using the Philadelphia center. However, parts unavailablility would be quite annoying if they were unavailable completely. I have owned many exotics and am used to having to wait sometimes.

I really love the car... I am just trying to see if it will be a bottomless pit despite all the upgrades. I am also aware of the niggly problems and fit and finish comparatively to other high end exotics. I really just don;t like getting HUGE repair bills. I am making that statement after owning several F cars, which I consider big bills, but not huge.

thanks for the input
 

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This car is not for the faint of heart. If you're a nervous type or a worry wart then just buy a new Honda.

Thank You for the reply. I am assuming by your comment that you mean this despite the car having had all of the upgrades and already the RDM/motors/battery/ etc. as well?

The inconvienience of the dealer, I can deal with. It is not going to be my primary car. I am in Metro New York, so I would be using the Philadelphia center. However, parts unavailablility would be quite annoying if they were unavailable completely. I have owned many exotics and am used to having to wait sometimes.

I really love the car... I am just trying to see if it will be a bottomless pit despite all the upgrades. I am also aware of the niggly problems and fit and finish comparatively to other high end exotics. I really just don;t like getting HUGE repair bills. I am making that statement after owning several F cars, which I consider big bills, but not huge.

thanks for the input
@ebaybrad: The common problem areas (Battery modules, RDM, Motors, ECU) are fairly well known and understood and the cost for repairing them is well quantified at this point. The only real issue is availability of the parts and proximity to qualified repair facilities. With your proximity to @FiskerPhilly, you have the best chance of getting parts and skilled labor. The cost of repairing the major stuff generally ranges from a couple of thousand to $25K for a new battery. I am not sure if that ranks as huge, but it is pretty significant. By having the car properly inspected before buying, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a major issue popping up, but there is no 100% assurance, so there is always some risk. The best you can do is to mitigate the risk by a proper pre-purchase inspection, including a review of what has already been done.
 

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Agree with Fabulist, especially about FiskerPhilly.

The key thing is - and sometimes it isn't easy - if you make your decision with the stipulation to yourself that you will accept and deal with the niggly problems and not become frustrated nonetheless when they happen, then do it. I can be very obsessive. And I knew the possibilities before buying and told myself based on the price and exclusivity, that I'd make the leap. And yes - even after telling myself this - I found myself time and again pissed off when something either went wrong or just plain BOTHERED ME.

What do I mean by this last statement? Let's see - car had only 2900 miles when I got it but there were a multitude of squeaks, rattles and whistles. So when I heard them, OCD that I can be - I got pissed off about it. Yes, I exorcised some of these demons thanks to this board. But the right front passenger door panel still makes some cheap-o squeaking noises when the temperature and humidity are just right. Ditto on some dash rattles that come-and-go. Sudden hot air when he A/C is on just because the ICE engaged is another such wack-adoo. But when my rational mind eventually kicks in, I remember the course that I'd set went this voyage first began.

Squeeks, rattles, quality issues - these are why I say it's the 'worst' new car that I've ever had. I'm intelligent enough not to label the thing a POS (cracks me up when one thing goes wrong on a new $80k BMW and an owner does that). But I'm being fair in assessment. And this assessment is realistic because frankly - the car was brought to market too soon, likely based on pressures from external forces such as the D.O.E. loan.

Lastly, would I do it again? YES.
 

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I dont like to see people worry or even worse be afraid to drive one of these (even if I can understand that fear) let alone concerned about repair cost. Lets face it guys like Harleyguy and I are around (and still in business) to deal with the dirt, the problems, rarely the good. And typically forums are inundated with the same, the problems. Truth be told, there are many good stories of low cost, problem free ownership. I regularly service 4 karmas with over 30k on them and original batteries and RDM! One of those is now over 75k and didnt cost him a dime (except tires) until 65k when he ran the battery diwn to 2% state of charge and wiped out some modules. He had to put $7000 into it at that point but consider a Ferrari, AMG Benz, early quattraporte at that mileage and I think you get the point. As the many knowledgeable owners here state theres some gamble involved and some cost of overall owning such a unique car but most will say its worth it. It certainly isnt for those squeezing the budget to get into one.
 

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Run out of gas and keep going or ICE misfire and shutdown and keep going. Either case switched back to EV indefinitely until car literally creeps to a slow crawl and out of energy msg.
then it sat for 6 months in his driveway cause he couldn't find anyone to fix it (he obviously wasn't aware of buzz) :D
 

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Run out of gas and keep going or ICE misfire and shutdown and keep going. Either case switched back to EV indefinitely until car literally creeps to a slow crawl and out of energy msg.
then it sat for 6 months in his driveway cause he couldn't find anyone to fix it (he obviously wasn't aware of buzz) :D
I have my car run out both keep driver it (on highway can't find the gas station)I feel when I stop by the gas station in last second the car was crawl .but after I put gas in and drove a while itself charge up to 15% battery nothing wrong is that danger can cause problem ?
 

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Oh wow! I've won the distinction of being the owner who has paid the most to repair their Karma. Lucky me!!

I have a very late production Laguna. I bought it new, off the showroom floor in October 2012. I had a few, small repairs made by the dealer at no cost to me before Fisker Santa Monica basically told all their customers to piss off because Fisker Automotive had abandoned them.

Shortly afterward, I met Lormax. He came over to give my car an inspection. We decided to go ahead and loctite the RDM to prevent the infamous chattering/creaking noise when at a crawl in traffic. That cost about $3,000 as I recall.

It was a few months later, with no support from Fisker Automotive or my dealer, Fisker Santa Monica (owned by Mike Sullivan, aka 'LA Car Guy', who refused to honor the warranty they'd promised when selling the car), when my Check Engine Light suddenly illuminated. I happened to have an appointment with Lormax to check out some minor issues, so I asked him to diagnose the problem. He hooked his computer up to my Karma and went to work. Then, with a look on his face akin to that of a doctor giving a patient a diagnosis of a terminal illness, Lormax looked at me and said "This is about as bad as it gets." I had a bad module in my battery.

Lormax was able to find a new battery, owned by another member of this board, that had never been removed from the original shipping crate. I bought it for, as I recall, $22,500. After Lormax removed the bad battery and installed the new battery, I was out of pocket (just for battery issues) about $26,000.

Since then, the car has been rock solid. No repairs except for an oil change at 5,000 miles. At 10,000 miles today, I have still have the original tires, though I'm considering replacing them soon.

Total spent to date on repairs to my Karma comes to about $30,000.

Would I do it again? You bet I would. I love the Karma. But I'd drive a much, much, much, much, MUCH harder bargain with the dealer. In other words, if you can pick up a new or low mileage Karma in the '60s, I think you'd be getting a good deal.

I think what other people in this thread have written is a fair assessment of the fit and finish of the car. The interior of my Karma has numerous squeaks and rattles that never plagued my BMW 3 or 5 series cars. That's inexcusable in a car of this class. However, I have the 'vegan' Eco Chic interior with the Alcantara Eco Suede fabric. That upholstery makes it--by far--the most comfortable car I've ever driven.

I notice you say you are in Metro New York. I assume that means you live outside Manhattan? I ask because I would never, *ever* want to drive a Karma in Manhattan--certainly not as a daily driver. The car is so wide, the wheelbase so long, those fenders so swoopy that it is all too often difficult to gauge where your Karma ends and where the car in the next lane begins. Maneuvering through tight spots or negotiating a sharp turn is really just one great big exercise in controlling your anxiety. If you live in the 'burbs or a sprawling car friendly city like LA (where I live), the Karma makes sense. If you live in an older, crowded, urban city with narrow streets and not built with cars in mind, such as Manhattan, San Francisco, DC, Boston(?), etc...,I'd tell you to be really, really sure you want the car before you commit. It's a beast to drive. But it's also among the most beautiful cars on the road.
 

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Ouch! Wow, a new battery. Since bk, I've never replaced one whole. I (as well as Harleyguy) have always been able to repair them or replace modules at a much lower cost.
As far as Manhattan I was just up there last week and paid a visit to @Adbokat he drives his karma daily in Manhattan. (Yes, he's cracked a wheel...or two) but nonetheless enjoys it cautiously. He is one of a few. There are at least 3 more on long island though.
 

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Oh wow! I've won the distinction of being the owner who has paid the most to repair their Karma. Lucky me!!

I have a very late production Laguna. I bought it new, off the showroom floor in October 2012. I had a few, small repairs made by the dealer at no cost to me before Fisker Santa Monica basically told all their customers to piss off because Fisker Automotive had abandoned them.

Shortly afterward, I met Lormax. He came over to give my car an inspection. We decided to go ahead and loctite the RDM to prevent the infamous chattering/creaking noise when at a crawl in traffic. That cost about $3,000 as I recall.

It was a few months later, with no support from Fisker Automotive or my dealer, Fisker Santa Monica (owned by Mike Sullivan, aka 'LA Car Guy', who refused to honor the warranty they'd promised when selling the car), when my Check Engine Light suddenly illuminated. I happened to have an appointment with Lormax to check out some minor issues, so I asked him to diagnose the problem. He hooked his computer up to my Karma and went to work. Then, with a look on his face akin to that of a doctor giving a patient a diagnosis of a terminal illness, Lormax looked at me and said "This is about as bad as it gets." I had a bad module in my battery.

Lormax was able to find a new battery, owned by another member of this board, that had never been removed from the original shipping crate. I bought it for, as I recall, $22,500. After Lormax removed the bad battery and installed the new battery, I was out of pocket (just for battery issues) about $26,000.

Since then, the car has been rock solid. No repairs except for an oil change at 5,000 miles. At 10,000 miles today, I have still have the original tires, though I'm considering replacing them soon.

Total spent to date on repairs to my Karma comes to about $30,000.

Would I do it again? You bet I would. I love the Karma. But I'd drive a much, much, much, much, MUCH harder bargain with the dealer. In other words, if you can pick up a new or low mileage Karma in the '60s, I think you'd be getting a good deal.

I think what other people in this thread have written is a fair assessment of the fit and finish of the car. The interior of my Karma has numerous squeaks and rattles that never plagued my BMW 3 or 5 series cars. That's inexcusable in a car of this class. However, I have the 'vegan' Eco Chic interior with the Alcantara Eco Suede fabric. That upholstery makes it--by far--the most comfortable car I've ever driven.

I notice you say you are in Metro New York. I assume that means you live outside Manhattan? I ask because I would never, *ever* want to drive a Karma in Manhattan--certainly not as a daily driver. The car is so wide, the wheelbase so long, those fenders so swoopy that it is all too often difficult to gauge where your Karma ends and where the car in the next lane begins. Maneuvering through tight spots or negotiating a sharp turn is really just one great big exercise in controlling your anxiety. If you live in the 'burbs or a sprawling car friendly city like LA (where I live), the Karma makes sense. If you live in an older, crowded, urban city with narrow streets and not built with cars in mind, such as Manhattan, San Francisco, DC, Boston(?), etc...,I'd tell you to be really, really sure you want the car before you commit. It's a beast to drive. But it's also among the most beautiful cars on the road.
I thought the chattering/crawl noise was just a normal part of the car and as such Fisker said it didn't need to be addressed?
Does the crawl noise really mean anything? saw in another thread an owner had this noise at 500 miles and still has it without repair at 20000 miles
Confused as to what the loctite does if anything other than stopping the chattering noise does it stop the RDM or motors from going bad?
I 've had this noise for quite awhile now and it only seems to happen when pulling up the slight hill in my driveway and at no other time. I'm not really concerned about it for that reason.
 

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My car is 3 years old this week. Drive it 2-4 times a week, mostly short distances (less than 20 miles). My dealer did all the upgrades and final 5000 mile service in April 2013, but then started charging for warranty issues after that. I have had no problems or repairs required since then (I did get new tires) so I am quite happy. :)

BTY, I came across one for sale last week that the local exotic car dealer let me drive while he absorbed all my experiences and explanations of the cars operation. Less than 5,000 miles on it, drove perfectly, was quieter than mine and absolutely in as-new condition. Same interior black leather/eco suede combo as mine with dark grey/sparkle paint job. Asking $68k, anyone want his telephone number?
 

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I thought the chattering/crawl noise was just a normal part of the car and as such Fisker said it didn't need to be addressed?
Does the crawl noise really mean anything? saw in another thread an owner had this noise at 500 miles and still has it without repair at 20000 miles
Confused as to what the loctite does if anything other than stopping the chattering noise does it stop the RDM or motors from going bad?
I 've had this noise for quite awhile now and it only seems to happen when pulling up the slight hill in my driveway and at no other time. I'm not really concerned about it for that reason.
I think the theory is that the noise must be capable of causing damage, therefore it makes sense to do the repair, but I don't know if anyone knows for sure that the noise would cause mechanical problems. I went ahead with the repair simply because the noise was so annoying that it drove me up the freaking wall.
 
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