List of things you don’t want to happen:
- Have spinach stuck in your teeth for the duration of a first date.
- Buy a new car and have it break down on the way home.
- Have the car you built and sold to Consumer Reports break down even before it’s checked in.
So what happens when a start-up automaker sells a $100,000 car to the almighty CR, only to have it on a flatbed truck moments later? It’s not going to be good.
The magazine says its Fisker Karma broke down during calibration tests just days into its ownership period. When a dashboard warning appeared, the driver stopped but then couldn’t get into gear again. Since there’s not much a guy can do to fix such a problem, the dealer sent a truck to take the new EV away. CR had a snarky little comment, as you might expect:
We buy about 80 cars a year and this is the first time in memory that we have had a car that is undriveable before it has finished our check-in process.
Sure, this could just be the teething process of a new company and a new car. Problems are expected on any new product, but a new automaker can’t afford highly publicized breakdowns and financial problems. Large automakers can absorb the costs and fix the issues, but I’m not sure Fisker is in a position to do that.
Even when the Karma is fixed and returned to CR, is there any hope of it receiving the coveted “Recommended” rating? I wouldn’t think so. Bring on the “bad karma” jokes!
Even if the Fisker Karma was affordable, would this breakdown influence your buying decision?