Fisker Karma fire in Texas fuels another controversy
The latest bout of bad publicity for Fisker Automotive comes from Sugar Land, Texas, where the California company is battling accusations that one of its sporty Karma electric hybrids – more specifically, its lithium ion battery pack – was the source of a house fire that destroyed the electric-powered car and two others.
While inquiries are still under way – and no official source has linked the ignition of the fire directly to the Karma – that hasn’t stopped media outlets from concluding at the outset that the $100,000 high-tech gas-electric auto was to blame.
“A Fisker-Karma Burns Down a House,” one Internet story blared, much to Fisker’s chagrin.
That supposition was extrapolated from a comment by Robert N. Baker, chief investigator with the Fort Bend County Fire Marshal’s Office, which investigated the fire earlier this month. He was quoted as saying: “I determined the fire came from within one vehicle parked inside the garage.”
That vehicle was the Karma, he concluded, though the folks at Fisker were quick to note that not all fires that start within cars are caused by the car itself. Some possible causes – as Fisker implied ominously – may even have a nefarious origin.
“As of now, multiple insurance investigators are involved, and we have not ruled out possible fraud or malicious intent,” the company said in a statement. “We are aware that fireworks were found in the garage in or around the vehicles. Also, an electrical panel located in the garage next to the vehicles is also being examined by the investigators as well as fire department officials.”
Baker, though, concluded the fire was not intentionally set.