Following a Texas garage fire that burned a Fisker Karma, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now conducting an official investigation into the matter.
The fire, which occurred last week in Sugar Land, a Houston suburb has already been generating controversy; as a result NHTSA now has operatives on the scene conducting local inquiries.
This latest investigation follows a number of other probes relating to fires of EVs equipped with lithium-ion batteries, including a much publicized incident relating to Chevy Volt crash tests conducted by the agency last year.
As for Fisker, this latest announcement is yet another blow to the company’s credibility in recent months; the breaking down of a Karma during testing by Consumer Reports, battery recalls and the suspension of Atlantic production following a freeze on a government credit line due to failure to meet production targets, still being fresh on the minds of many.
Nevertheless, regarding this latest fire, Fisker officials said in a statement on May 8 that because the battery was intact and not being charged at the time of the fire, the car wasn’t the root cause. Additionally, this particular Karma was also purchased after the battery recall (which, according to supplier A123 Systems, resulted from misaligned hose clamps that could cause potential coolant leakage and electrical malfunction).
It’ll be interesting to see what the NHTSA probe uncovers, particularly since a local county fire investigator said the fire was in fact caused by the vehicle.
[Source: Automotive News]