AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Yesterday, an explosion was reported at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan and early reports had one or two people injured. An official statement was released by GM that five people were injured, one seriously.
“We are aware of five employees being evaluated on scene by medical personal and only one employee is being further treated,” said GM.
The one employee who was injured seriously is expected to make a full recovery and no one suffered life-threatening injuries in the accident. According to GM, the explosion “was related to extreme testing on a prototype battery,” and of course the American automaker had to include that it was “unrelated to the Chevrolet Volt or any other production vehicle.”
It is being reported that the prototype lithium-ion battery that exploded was manufactured by A123 Systems, who recently had to deal with all the negative press surrounding the Fisker Karma and is already facing financial obstacles.
Watch the news report below.
But first, its battery supplier, A123 Systems admitted that it supplied Fisker with defective battery packs and has taken the blame for the notorious glitch on the Consumer Reports’ Fisker Karma. A123 has said that it discovered defects in certain cells made by its plant that can “result in premature failure of the battery module or pack, including a decrease in performance and reduced battery life,” according to CEO David Vieau.
A123 will be replacing all the batteries and estimates it will cost the company about $55 million and will be funded over the next several quarters. Following the news and essentially admittance of guilt by A123 Systems, Fisker sent out its own press release announcing the upgrade of its VIP Customer Care Coverage, which comes with the purchase of every Karma.
The “enhanced” customer care package will now include a complete battery replacement at no cost for all affected 2012 model year vehicles, and all North American customers will receive a full vehicle warranty extension from 50 months/50,000 miles to 60 months/60,000 miles.
“The entire Fisker Team is committed to the complete satisfaction of our customers and their experience with our vehicles. As a new technology start-up Company, we have stepped up to many challenges in our short history as we have launched one of the most advanced electric vehicles with extended range in the world,” said Fisker CEO Tom LaSorda.
Certainly a step in the right direction, but it hardly builds consumer confidence in the Fisker brand. We will wait to see what else Fisker has planned for its Project Nina debut next week.