When a Texas home was scorched earlier this week, authorities blamed the Fisker Karma for starting the fire in the garage. At the time it seemed clear that the car did start the fire, but how that happened was less obvious.
The company, however, was quick to point out that it wasn’t a battery fire. Jon Bereisa, CEO of consultancy company Auto Lectrification, spoke with Automotive News and said that it was more likely to have been caused by the cramped engine compartment.
“That engine is shoehorned into that bay, because they had to use a larger engine, because it was too heavy a car. As a result, there’s no room for exhaust routing and heat shielding to route the heat away,” Bereisa said.
With such tight quarters, he said an oil or coolant leak could easily start a fire, which is probably what happened. Jeremy Gutierrez, the car’s owner, said he smelled rubber when the fire started, something that would align with a fire in the engine bay and not the batteries.
Fisker has since deployed a group of engineers to investigate and reach a conclusion, maintaining only that the battery was not at fault. Given the controversy that quickly enveloped the Chevrolet Volt after it caught fire, it’s understandable that Fisker is approaching the situation with caution.
In the Volt’s case, fires started after the units in question suffered severe crashes and coolant leaked onto the battery pack. The liquid crystalized and then caught fire, leading to the hazard behind the controversy.
[Source: Automotive News]