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PHOTO CAPTION: Illustration showing location of Karma battery pack.

Fisker Karma Battery Replacement to Cost A123 $55M

Cause of Consumer Reports test car failure now identified as manufacturing flaw in A123 cells.

Published: 27-Mar-2012

A123 Systems Inc., the manufacturer of the Nanophosphate lithium iron phosphate batteries used in the Fisker Karma range-extended electric car, says it will replace defective battery modules and packs at a total cost of $55 million.

The innovative Karma range-extended electric vehicle from Anaheim, Calif.-based Fisker Automobile infamously experienced massive malfunctions that rendered the car undrivable when Consumer Reports began testing. Fisker initially described the problem as a "high-voltage isolation fault." It now seems that the fault actually lies with the manufacturer of the batteries used in the Karma, A123 Systems of Waltham, Mass.

Fisker is changing the terms of its "VIP Customer Care Coverage" for all 2012 Karmas following the discovery by A123 Systems of "a latent manufacturing defect in some prismatic cells made in its Livonia, Mich., facility that could result in battery underperformance and decreased durability."

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