Fisker Karma Engine Packaging To Blame for Garage Fire

05/14/2012 01:49 PM ET

It was initially thought that the Fisker Karma engine packaging was to blame for a recent garage fire that eventually destroyed a home, but the automobile maker is disputing the claim made by the Houston Fire Department.

Fisker Karma Fire

The $100,000 plug-in car uses a lithium-ion battery pack, and because of the battery’s reputation of over heating and catching fire in laptop computers, reports were quick to blame the hybrid vehicle for the source of the early May incident.

According to Auto Week magazine, chief fire investigator Robert Baker reported that the electric car caught fire about 3 minutes after being pulled into the garage of the home.

On Tuesday Fisker Karma Automotive issued a statement on its own behalf to quell any fear of buying the vehicle because of the early reports. After a full investigation, it was less likely the automobile was at fault for the fire.

“There are conflicting reports and uncertainty surrounding this particular incident,” Fisker said. “The cause of the fire is not yet known and is being investigated.”

Along with the Sugarland, Texas home, two other cars in the garage were destroyed, While an investigation is still on going by the insurance company and local officials, Fisker notes the fact they have found the battery pack was fully intact, a clear indication that it was not a “contributing factor,” of the fire and also that the vehicle was not plugged in at the time.

Fisker has been under fire for using the controversial batteries in its vehicle, and this incident did not help that much, whether it was at fault or not.

After Consumer Reports conducted a test on the hybrid car, the battery failed and that prompted a recall.

The company has defended its use of the batteries ever since.

An NHTSA probe has since reported that Fisker Karma poses no greater risk of fire than a normal gasoline engine one does.

Fisker says that fire officials are now taking a look at an electrical panel in the garage, and they were also “aware” of fireworks in the garage as well.

They have also not ruled out fraud or malicious intent.


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