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Old 03-19-2012, 02:32 PM   #1
Masterauto
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Default BAD KARMA CU reports

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/03/19/c...ntent=FaceBook



You can buy a bunch of information for $107,000.

Consumer Reports is learning all sorts of things about the Fisker Karma now that it has purchased one for testing, only to have it die with less than 200 miles on the odometer. After 48 hours in the dealer's repair shop under warranty the car is back in the CR fleet and is starting to get put through its paces.

With that public breakdown making waves, CR discovered that lots of Karma owners have been reporting their own issues with their new and expensive plug-in hybrids. Things like needing a new differential after less than 1,000 miles, a car shutting itself off at 35 mph and lots of trouble with the shifter. Most of these reports were put up by owners on FiskerBuzz. Of course, before CR got its Karma, the company issued two recalls, one for a software glitch and another for battery issues.

So, with all the problems, how does CR like the Karma on the track? The design is "simply stunning," it says, but the range-extending gasoline engine is loud when the 22-kWh battery is depleted. And the Fisker's SUV-like 5,395-pound weight doesn't help with handling. On the inside, CR says the touchscreen is also less than ideal, with a grayscale look and plenty of menu flipping that "makes MyFord Touch look like a brilliant design." Ouch.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:24 PM   #2
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It always blows my mind when companies try to mess with things like the gear selector. Electric hybrid and all, it shouldn't be trying to reinvent the wheel to select a gear. For example this is the gear selector in the Karma:

http://priuschat.com/forums/attachme...r-karma-sd.jpg

Last edited by ocellaris; 03-19-2012 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:46 PM   #3
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There are no gears to select (or transmission for that matter).. so why have a lever?



That's the Karma's mechanical drivetrain.. two motors on either side of a differential.


I think it's funny that you link to an image on PriusChat to bitch about changing the shift lever. Have you seen the shifter in a Prius?
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Calamity Jesus View Post
There are no gears to select (or transmission for that matter).. so why have a lever?



That's the Karma's mechanical drivetrain.. two motors on either side of a differential.


I think it's funny that you link to an image on PriusChat to bitch about changing the shift lever. Have you seen the shifter in a Prius?
You have a lever because people are familiar with it. Selecting gears from a small pyramid is alien to many people. I haven't seen CR note if their problems with gear changes were usability issues or mechanical issues. Either way, I expect them to displeased with that little pyramid box gear selector just from a "People don't understand how this works" view.

I hate that Prius gear selector too. You should see people trying to manipulate that thing when they first get into a Prius. Aside from being a bit odd, it just feels terrible and doesn't have a good engagement point that a lot of people look for.

Last edited by ocellaris; 03-20-2012 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocellaris View Post
You have a lever because people are familiar with it. Selecting gears from a small pyramid is alien to many people. I haven't seen CR note if their problems with gear changes were usability issues or mechanical issues. Either way, I expect them to displeased with that little pyramid box gear selector just from a "People don't understand how this works" view.

I hate that Prius gear selector too. You should see people trying to manipulate that thing when they first get into a Prius. Aside from being a bit odd, it just feels terrible and doesn't have a good engagement point that a lot of people look for.
You think that's bad? Try to pilot this piece of crap:


Last edited by manticus; 03-20-2012 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:30 PM   #6
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Meh, the part of the population that's old enough to be confused by a cluster of buttons probably learned how to drive using a car equipped with this:

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Old 03-20-2012, 06:37 PM   #7
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lol been reading about these braking down non stop, what a piece of trash. Hilarious a bunch of celebs bought this **** to seem cool.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocellaris
You have a lever because people are familiar with it. Selecting gears from a small pyramid is alien to many people. I haven't seen CR note if their problems with gear changes were usability issues or mechanical issues. Either way, I expect them to displeased with that little pyramid box gear selector just from a "People don't understand how this works" view.

I hate that Prius gear selector too. You should see people trying to manipulate that thing when they first get into a Prius. Aside from being a bit odd, it just feels terrible and doesn't have a good engagement point that a lot of people look for.
Levers have different mechanisms, too. Push down, pull up ring, push button on front, top, or side, straight shift pattern (autos, here), J gates, wavy S shaped gates, push right or left to engage "manual" mode then guess at whether downshifting is pushing forward or backward... Is it that hard to figure out a new one? No, but neither is figuring out a new set of buttons or the like. Not having physical feedback other than mere button or indicator position would probably irk me about the Karma's setup. (Jaguar's raising-dial style would garner the same complaint from me.)

As one might guess I actually like the Prius's shift lever. No, seriously: it is close at hand and no bigger than it need be. Having Park be a separate button is strange and non-intuitive, though, imo, and what B mode does is apparently a mystery to even some experienced, educated drivers: my uncle, driver of a 2005 Prius since new, told me last week that he thought B mode was for battery-only operation (not an option at all on Prii before 2010 in the US market).
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:10 PM   #9
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So mass producing a car is almost impossible for a new co. Although many take for granted quality and reliability it is damn hard to find sub contractors who make quality parts then have them work well in the main auto.So why did they give Fisker $530 million instead of Toyota who has a track record of best hybrid in world who could totally manufacture it here? Fisker is the next Delorean and brings no jobs to US to speak of. Proof corruption exists in high places.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:22 PM   #10
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So mass producing a car is almost impossible for a new co. Although many take for granted quality and reliability it is damn hard to find sub contractors who make quality parts then have them work well in the main auto.
Goodbye, American Dream.

Fisker rushed the car to market because of pressure by the DOE. The DOE refused to grant an extension on their requisite landmarks despite several delay issues beyond Fisker's control. As soon as Fisker launched the car the DOE froze their loan... the money they were supposed to be using to build the Nina in the USA.

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So why did they give Fisker $530 million instead of Toyota who has a track record of best hybrid in world who could totally manufacture it here?
Probably because Toyota isn't an American company.. but Fisker is... and the DOE is an American government entity.

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Fisker is the next Delorean and brings no jobs to US to speak of. Proof corruption exists in high places.
Delorean was smuggling cocaine.. I fail to see any parallels.
I'm sure that, at a company the size of Toyota, there is no corruption.. nor are they lobbying and bribing the government and other companies to keep competitors at bay.

Comic Sans is the new Sarcasm font, btw.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:56 AM   #11
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Do you work at Fisker or have some ties to them? I do not understand why you are so steadfast in trying to defend them. Sure toyota is not an american company, but ford and gm are. Both of them have a proven track record of vehicles despite what many here like to claim. Right now the Volt may not be selling that well, but the owners certainly love the vehicle as evidenced by consumer satisfaction ratings and so on. For will have the cmax energi out soon as well. Ford already does hybrids as well as Toyota (since they were licensing the tech earlier) and now they are beyond that.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:30 AM   #12
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Fisker does not produce cars in USA, but Toyota does. Delorean was failing and ready to go under and he happened to get caught in a setup sting. Courts found that FBI just about forced him into the deal so thats history and he was free man.
Fisker I will bet paid to play courtesy of Al Gore and Joe Biden and the big O'. Doubt it will come to light but who knows? Ne Net, execs will walk with lost of US Ca$h when they go sown. No new US Jobs
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:55 AM   #13
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Do you work at Fisker or have some ties to them? I do not understand why you are so steadfast in trying to defend them. Sure toyota is not an american company, but ford and gm are. Both of them have a proven track record of vehicles despite what many here like to claim. Right now the Volt may not be selling that well, but the owners certainly love the vehicle as evidenced by consumer satisfaction ratings and so on. For will have the cmax energi out soon as well. Ford already does hybrids as well as Toyota (since they were licensing the tech earlier) and now they are beyond that.
I have no ties.. I'm just blown away by the tepid reception. Granted, they aren't the most exciting cars.. but when was the last time an American car company sought to build such beautiful cars?

Then everyone seems to be mad at Fisker for actions that the DOE took. People are pissed that the proposed plants are closed for domestic Fisker production and talking about how Fisker is going to walk with money... yet they were legitimately building a product and moving toward opening that Nina factory until the DOE froze their funding... which has only caused them more strife.

Then we've got mouthbreathers getting indignant and throwing around political slurs *cough* over an amount of money that is quite literally 0.005% of the Federal Budget. When that happens it just so happens to look like a political pitchfork mob rubbing a pair of braincells together.... which, for the sake of a new company that has a chance of making interesting cars, isn't worth setting fire to prematurely. It's petty BS and it's coming from somewhere... I know that Rush Limbaugh has been talking about Fisker quite a bit lately which means it's probably just one of many recent conservative whipping boys... and it's an easy one for them, being that it's an electric car and they can skirt around how it's an American company by pointing out that their first car was built overseas (despite it being designed, conceived, etc in the USA).

edit:
http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/15191...rket-too-soon/

As an example.. talk about some lopsided reporting. "It's common knowledge now that Fisker has major problems now despite getting a ton of money from US taxpayers."

Yeah, that $193,000,000 (which had been held back from them for a very long time) they got last month should have fixed all of their problems. What a crock.

.. then they go on to bitch about how the Karma was made for rich people and how horrible that is. It's twice as expensive as a Volt! The Volt that's built on a Chevy Cruze... they were launching it so they could fund the Nina which was supposed to be affordable. It's all political bull**** and Fisker, a potentially promising American car company (regardless of how pointless you think the drivetrain is), is getting burned at the stake.

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Old 03-22-2012, 11:05 AM   #14
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The problem as it has been stated many times, is investing in a car company is NOT the way we should be spending the DOE money. We should be investing in technology that can be used by car companies. The Fiskar is a joke, always has been, and does Nothing for anybody in the US at all except employ a few engineers in California. The bulk of the Fiskar work force is not in this country. So calling it an American company is a bit tough to swallow.

The whole business plan was moronic. We are going to launch an uber expensive $100k dollar car which will sell in the hundreds if we are lucky so we can afford to build compact cars costing $40k by the 10's of thousands.

It is just an asinine idea. In order for that to even have a chance to work, you have to create a halo car image. Make the new technology something amazing and outstanding people will desire with every fiber in their soul. So when the more 'mundanely priced' version comes out they run to buy it in droves for a chance to capture the magic of the top tier version. (See Lexus LS400)

The Karma is plagued with bad press, both economically and politically and mechanically. It is NOT made in this country and carries with it all the bad baggage of Joe Biden's stupidity.

Yes, I will concede it is refreshing to look at. But it is nothing any junior design student at any automotive design school could not pen up in an hour or two.

Again, the bottom line is the government should not be picking which company will win. It should be investing in technologies that will enable all companies to win.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:12 PM   #15
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The problem as it has been stated many times, is investing in a car company is NOT the way we should be spending the DOE money.
I'm not disagreeing with that discussion.. but after you've already promised them funding, thereby promised US factory jobs, and even given them some of the funding.. that is not the time to change your mind and screw people over.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
We should be investing in technology that can be used by car companies. The Fiskar is a joke, always has been, and does Nothing for anybody in the US at all except employ a few engineers in California. The bulk of the Fiskar work force is not in this country. So calling it an American company is a bit tough to swallow.
Of course the workforce isn't here.. the federal government cut their funding for opening their factory here.

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The whole business plan was moronic. We are going to launch an uber expensive $100k dollar car which will sell in the hundreds if we are lucky so we can afford to build compact cars costing $40k by the 10's of thousands.
Yeah, totally ridiculous.

Not only has that been a common business model for car companies.. it's been the business model of a recent start-up that people said would fail..


Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
It is just an asinine idea. In order for that to even have a chance to work, you have to create a halo car image. Make the new technology something amazing and outstanding people will desire with every fiber in their soul. So when the more 'mundanely priced' version comes out they run to buy it in droves for a chance to capture the magic of the top tier version. (See Lexus LS400)
It's a gorgeous plug-in hybrid. It was supposed to be a halo car before it got rushed to market.

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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
The Karma is plagued with bad press, both economically and politically and mechanically. It is NOT made in this country and carries with it all the bad baggage of Joe Biden's stupidity.
My point is, most of the bad press has been manufactured politically.

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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Yes, I will concede it is refreshing to look at. But it is nothing any junior design student at any automotive design school could not pen up in an hour or two.
Right..

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Again, the bottom line is the government should not be picking which company will win. It should be investing in technologies that will enable all companies to win.
That was an argument for 3 years ago.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:54 PM   #16
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Right before we wasted money on Karma.

As far as messing with US jobs. They did that when they decided to move production to Sweden. That was their first strike. That was not media generated lies.

Did they tell the US when they asked for money, that they would be building the car in Scandinavia and NOT in the US.

Did Fiskar say, "if you give me 500 million, I will build my car low volume high dollar car in Europe, but when and if that really takes off, I will refurb an old GM plant and then hire some US workers"

The argument that you want us to forget about is as relevant today as it was 3 years ago.

What do you want everybody to say.

OH yeah, we know the taxpayers are funding cars being built overseas for a car that next to nobody can afford and that is not selling in any volume what so ever, but we will forget about all that and cheer for them.

Yeah, go Fiskar

Instead, I would rather hold them accountable for the money they have spent, and not give them a dime so they can stand on their own two feet. If they cannot survive without government money, then they should be allowed to sink. Good riddance to a waste of money. Sell off the assets and learn from our mistake.

Tesla is far from a shining symbol of excellence. Rich boy toys. Nothing more than a novelty. And they would have sunk and remained nothing more than a cute kit car without government help.
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:33 PM   #17
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Scrappy.. the DOE money was not for the Karma. The Karma was built with private invester money. The Karma was nearing production.. but the stipulations put on Fisker by the DOE to get the loan money was that they'd have certain development landmarks reached on the Karma.. They ran into issues with the Karma's development and fell behind.. then rushed the Karma to market in order to meet those stipulations. The money they are were getting the loan for is earmarked for the Nina plant in the USA.

This:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO
OH yeah, we know the taxpayers are funding cars being built overseas for a car that next to nobody can afford and that is not selling in any volume what so ever, but we will forget about all that and cheer for them.
Is just what the pundits want you to think the "liberals" in the White House are doing..


.. and I'd like to further point out the word loan which is distinctly different than a grant.

Grant money is lost.. straight up. Loan money can be repaid.. but any loan shark knows you aren't getting your money back if you loan out 2/5ths of it and then shoot the person you're loaning the money to.
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:05 PM   #18
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Well, Solyndra was a loan as well. We will never see that.

So not a penny of DOE money was spent on the Karma at all?

Karma is not an opportunity lost. There is nothing significant about its architecture that warrants a drop of government money. The prius has done more for electrifying the car driving world than all the other car makers together. I see no value in the Karma.
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:29 PM   #19
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My understanding is that they only just got the money from the DOE this year.. and they were already in pre-production on the Karma. I can't say where the money went, obviously.

I'm just saying, the time for jeering their demise was before the US Fed Gov invested a loan into them... not after.

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The Prius is important.. but it's also an import. (not that I have any intentions of buying a domestic car anytime soon)
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:08 PM   #20
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Look the DOE loan money is for risky start ups with a large upside. I would say solyndra falls into that category. They had a decent business model, they had innovative manufacturing. They did not foresee that China would invest incredible amounts of money into making much cheaper polycrystalline silicon which made silicon PV much cheaper than thin film CdTe PV. So they went bankrupt. That is fine with me.

I grant the Fisker Karma is pretty, but I do not see the innovation that makes the risk worthwhile. We don't need to pay half a billion to fisker for jobs. I would rather pay someone to maintain parks or something more immediately useful to society at large.

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Then everyone seems to be mad at Fisker for actions that the DOE took. People are pissed that the proposed plants are closed for domestic Fisker production and talking about how Fisker is going to walk with money... yet they were legitimately building a product and moving toward opening that Nina factory until the DOE froze their funding... which has only caused them more strife.
They agreed to milestones with the DOE. They missed them. Their funding should be frozen. Why should we give them a pass?

Quote:
Then we've got mouthbreathers getting indignant and throwing around political slurs *cough* over an amount of money that is quite literally 0.005% of the Federal Budget. When that happens it just so happens to look like a political pitchfork mob rubbing a pair of braincells together.... which, for the sake of a new company that has a chance of making interesting cars, isn't worth setting fire to prematurely.
I still think the amount of money would be better going to other areas. I would rather spend the 500 million incentivizing sales of the batteries in the Fisker (to any company GM, ford, fisker whoever), or the sales of PHEVs (including the Fisker). I just don't see what they are offering at all compared to the established players. Yes it is pretty, so get a grant from the endowment for the arts not the DOE.

The volt was attacked fairly relentlessly for non-problem in the side impact test, the media including "liberal" outlets said all sorts of inaccurate things about it. That is what the media in general does. The Fisker seems to have a lot of real, though mundane problems. Tesla had a few themselves. Apparently building a car is a bit harder than some people think.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:07 AM   #21
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Since nobody seems to care about this car company unless Rush Limbaugh is lambasting them for political reasons.. I guess I'll post a followup:

This is from 6 days ago:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...isker-shutdown

Quote:
A123 Systems Inc. (AONE) said it’s replacing defective battery packs and modules it supplies to customers, including Fisker Automotive Inc., and that the flaw caused a Fisker Karma to shut down in a Consumer Reports test.

A123 has started building replacement modules and expects to begin shipping them to customers this week, the company said in a statement. Replacing the batteries and systems shipped globally from A123’s plant in Livonia, Michigan, will cost about $55 million and will be funded during the next several quarters, the company estimated.

Five customers are potentially affected by the defects, David Vieau, the company’s chief executive officer, told reporters today in a conference call. The root cause of a $107,000 Fisker Karma model shutting down in tests this month by Consumer Reports is associated with A123’s defective batteries, Vieau said, without naming other customers.

“While the initial rapid ramp-up of our Michigan operations to satisfy customer demand has resulted in near-term operational challenges, we are confident in our ability to overcome these issues,” he said on the call.

A123 expects that the cost of replacing the battery systems will “require us to adjust our fundraising strategy,” Vieau said, without elaborating. The company will provide an updated outlook during its next quarterly earnings call, he said.

A123 fell 12 percent to $1.49 at the close in New York, the lowest closing price since its initial public offering in September 2009.

Fisker Tests
Fisker’s plug-in luxury car that Consumer Reports purchased for evaluation shut down after only 180 miles (290 kilometers), the Yonkers, New York-based magazine said March 8.

Fisker will update its “VIP Customer Care Coverage” to include a free battery replacement for affected Karma owners, the Anaheim, California-based company said today in a statement. The program also will extend warranties for customers in North America by 10 months and 10,000 miles, to 60 months and 60,000 miles.

A123 is a Fisker shareholder. The carmaker in December recalled 239 Karmas to fix a hose clamp in the A123 battery pack at risk of leaking coolant, which it said could potentially cause a fire.

The cause of the defects described today was faulty calibration of one of four welding machines in the Michigan plant that caused misalignment of a component in some cells,Vieau said today. The flaw could cause an electrical short, which could result in premature failure of the battery or decrease performance and reduce battery life, he said.

‘Effectively Contaminated’
While the rate of total cells welded by the faulty machine is “a fraction” of the product A123 made in the Michigan plant, the probability is “very high” that a module or pack contains a defect because of the number of cells that go into them, Vieau said.

“We feel that virtually all the product that we produce in this facility has been effectively contaminated by this particular defect,” he said.

A123 received a $249.1 million grant from the Energy Department from a program started in February 2009 that supports the construction of U.S. plants to make batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.

The company also has a pending application for loans under an Energy Department program to support manufacturing expansion. A123 estimated in its annual report filed March 12 that it may be allowed to borrow up to $233 million from that program.

Government Assistance
A123 also has also used $8.3 million of a $10 million grant from the state of Michigan to support the expansion of its factories in Livonia and Romulus, Michigan, according to the filing.

Fisker said this month it established a team of more than 50 engineers to address quality issues with the Karma. That group traced the cause of the shutdown of the car owned by Consumer Reports to the A123 battery pack, Fisker said in its statement today. Both companies formed groups “to find the actual root cause,” the carmaker said.

Fisker reduced orders of packs from A123 in the fourth quarter of last year to balance parts inventories, the battery maker said in a Nov. 4 statement. A123’s full-year loss widened to $257.7 million, or $2.12 a share, last year from $152.6 million, or $1.46, in 2010, according to a March 8 statement.

The cylindrical cells that A123 makes in China that are used by Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) and other customers are not affected by the defect, Vieau said. A123 also supplies batteries for General Motors Co. (GM) and Daimler AG.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:40 AM   #22
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Batteries from China going into a car made in Finland, with an internal combustion engine designed by Opal

Go USA.

So

Much

Fail


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Old 04-02-2012, 11:26 AM   #23
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Look again, Scrappy. The batteries for the Karma were made in Michigan... A123 also produces batteries in China, but BMW buys those.


and Opel is GM.. the engine is the same one from the Solstice GXP, Sky Redline, HHR SS & Cobalt SS.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:29 AM   #24
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Pretty big fail on a123's part. QA fail on fisker too.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:38 AM   #25
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Agreed. A123's interest in Fisker probably means this will be fixed properly and with their other contracts this probably means their stock will slowly crawl back up regardless of Fisker's success.

Fisker's future basically depends on the reception to the Nina (which they still plan to build in Delaware if they can get the funding).
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