2012 Fisker Karma during road test, Los Angeles, Feb 2012
Fisker Automotive has had a torrid time in the months following the launch of the 2012 Fisker Karma.
Facing recalls, software upgrades and the news that a car died in the hands of Consumer Reports, an ex-employee of a Fisker retailer has now claimed that Fisker pushed the Karma to the market before it was ready, in order to meet government milestones for Department of Energy loans.
According to Gigaom, the former Fisker salesperson employee, who now works for a Coda retailer, left the company partly because of the amount of vehicles having technical issues.
[UPDATE: Fisker issued a statement late this afternoon addressing the controversy, which we have provided in full on the second page of this article.]
The claim would certainly explain some of the quality issues we found when driving the Karma a few months back, including electrical issues, poor fit and finish, and body panel gaps that would be unacceptable on the cheapest cars in the market.
Gigaom contacted Fisker, who returned the following statement:
“Quality and customer satisfaction are the top priority for Fisker Automotive. With any new technology there will be unanticipated bugs and we have demonstrated the ability to quickly resolve them on a case-by-case basis" adding that Fisker also has a 24-hour VIP call center and comprehensive warranty, for customers' peace of mind.
So was the 2012 Fisker Karma allowed onto the market before development was complete, or are its early problems simply inevitable teething issues associated with a startup automaker releasing a high-technology vehicle?
It's hard to judge at such an early stage, but the issues Fisker is experiencing need to be resolved quickly to preserve the company's reputation - if Fisker is to survive its early years.