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 |  Mar 15 2012, 3:32 PM

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The infamous Fisker Karma that shut down during Consumer Reports‘ testing performed exactly as it was meant to, according to Tom LaSorda, the company’s new CEO.

Apparently the luxury EV is meant to shut down in the event of a failure to prevent collateral damage that might otherwise result. LaSorda sent a letter to customers apologizing for the fault and any resulting inconvenience.

He also assured customers that he is “personally involved” in all the company’s initiatives, saying that hiccups in new technology sometimes require updates and refinements.

Fisker returned the Consumer Reports owned Karma fully repaired under warranty after finding a problem in the car’s inverter cable and battery.

Furthermore, it seems LaSorda dispatched what he calls a “SWAT” team of 50 engineers and other consultants to find problems with the car and fix them. New software has been developed to help prevent future problems in Karmas, and will be sent out as soon as the current testing procedure is complete, according to LaSorda.

Regardless of what he says, its hard to imagine buying a car for $107,850, as Consumer Reports did, only to have it die. A letter from the company’s CEO would probably offer little comfort after realizing your recent six-figure investment wasn’t ready to be sold.

GALLERY: Fisker Karma

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[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Mar 09 2012, 7:32 AM

Well this is just embarrassing. American electric automaker Fisker has had some pretty bad months recently, starting with a recall back in December, to reports of the company running out of funds, that has lead to the delay of Project Nina and then possible reports that the Karma could brick.

The automaker was probably hoping some good press would come with Consumer Reports putting the Karma to the test, looking to prove to the world that it is indeed a formidable plug-in hybrid especially at its hefty $107,850 price tag. That can just go out the window now, as Consumer Reports has reported that with less than 200 miles on the odometer their Karma has broken down.

The breakdown occurred while Consumer Reports was doing a speedometer calibration run on their test track, something they do for every test car. The calibration simply has the vehicle driving at a constant speed of 65-mph between two measured points. During one of its runs, “the dashboard flashed a message and sounded a ‘bing’ showing a major fault,” according to Consumer Reports.

They promptly took the vehicle off the track and parked it, rummaging through the owner’s manual to determine what may have occurred. Unfortunately after that, the Karma refused to let them shift the vehicle into any gear. The electronic shifter would only allow Park or Neutral.

The vehicle sat for about an hour before they restarted it hoping for better luck. This time around, it allowed them to put it into gear but it only moved a few feet before the error message appeared again and the Karma disabled itself. The dealer promptly sent out a flatbed tow truck to pick up the disabled Karma, which was almost 100 miles away from the dealership.

It’s disheartening to see all this funding going towards the Fisker brand and very little positive news has surfaced from the vehicle. It will be interesting to see what Consumer Reports publishes if they ever get the vehicle drivable for more than a couple of days.

Watch their video below

 

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