A123 Systems issues battery fix for Fisker Karma image

A123 Systems Inc, the company that supplies the battery pack to Fisker Automotive, has announced it is repairing a glitch that could cause an electrical short circuit.

In a memo sent to investors, A123 Systems’ CEO said fewer than 50 cars were affected and fixes are under way. Fisker recently began selling the $102,000 Karma plug-in hybrid sedan in the U.S.

“A fix had been developed and corrective action is underway,” CEO David Vieau said in the memo posted on the company’s investor relations site. According to Vieau, some hose clamps in the battery pack’s internal cooling system are misaligned and could cause coolant to leak. A leak could lead to an electrical short circuit.

A123 Systems also sells batteries to Daimler AG and General Motors. The company will supply the battery pack for the plug-in electric Chevrolet Spark that will be launched in 2013. Battery safety is under scrutiny following the Chevrolet Volt fires, though U.S. safety officials say there is no reason to believe electric cars are more dangerous than conventional vehicles.

2012 will see the launch of several new plug-in electric vehicles in the U.S., all with batteries that rely on a coolant system, like the Volt and the Fisker Karma. Nissan Leaf’s batteries are air cooled and do not require an external system.