Bad Karma: Fisker Electric Car Dies During Road Test

Government-backed luxury car towed away in Consumer Reports road test.

ByABC News
March 9, 2012, 11:29 AM

March 9, 2012 — -- The government-backed electric car maker Fisker Automotive has encountered its share of speed bumps financially -- announcing in recent weeks that it would have to lay off some workers and suspend work on a more affordable electric-gas hybrid version of its new luxury sports sedan, the Karma.

But since unveiling the $107,000 Fisker Karma, the car conceptualized by legendary designer Henrik Fisker, the sleek and quiet vehicle has received mostly rave reviews from auto experts, enthusiasts, and several of those who have bought the 2,000 cars that have so far come off the line.

When Consumer Reports took the car out for a test spin recently, however, the Karma did not perform as planned. The consumer company bought a Karma from a dealer for the purpose of putting it to the test. And in a video now posted on its website, Consumer Reports auto engineer Tom Mutchler explains what happened.

"It is low, it is sleek, it is sensuous. It's also broken. Right here in the middle of our driveway. The car doesn't go in gear. It doesn't move," he says.

The new car had to be towed away.

A Fisker spokesman tells ABC News the dealer that sold Consumer Reports its Karma "immediately arranged for the car to be picked up and diagnosed by trained service technicians."

"Our engineers are in contact with the retailer and are working closely with them to understand the cause and resolve the issue so they can return the car to their customer quickly," said Roger Ormisher, Fisker's spokesman.

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