A123 Has to Replace Damaged Battery Parts in 2012 Fisker Karma image

On Monday, March 26th, A123 Systems announced it will replace the battery modules and packs that contain defective parts on the $102,950 2012 Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid sports car.

A123 Systems assured that the replacement is not a safety issue or a recall and that it a response to the breakdown of the Karma plug-in hybrid during recent testing by Consumer Reports. The problem seems to be the defective cells in the battery modules and packs built at the supplier’s Livonia, Michigan facility.

This issue seems a déjà vu for Fisker which in December 2011 had to recall 239 Karmas due to a potential coolant leak in the battery compartment that could result in a fire.

At the time, Fisker said, “The issue relates to the orientation of certain hose clamps that are part of the internal cooling system inside the sealed battery pack that is manufactured and supplied by A123.”

A123 Systems said that it is difficult to know how many vehicles are affected and that the costs for replacing the damaged modules and packs will be around $55 million. When asked how the average consumer would be able to track whether or not parts came from A123 Systems’ Livonia facility, company officials said it “would be difficult.”