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Fisker recalling Karma sedans to fix fans

AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) - Electric-car maker Fisker Automotive is recalling the Karma sports sedan to fix cooling fans that can catch fire.

The recall comes after Fisker and a private fire investigation firm finished investigating an Aug. 10 fire in a Karma in Woodside, Calif.

The company said the probe found that the blaze started in front of the Karma's left front wheel where a cooling fan is located. A sealed component within the fan failed and it overheated, causing the slow-burning fire, Fisker said in a statement issued Saturday.

Fisker said the fire had nothing to do with car's lithium-ion battery or other new technology components.

"This incident resulted from a single, faulty component," Executive Chairman and co-founder Henrik Fisker said in the statement.

The recall could hurt the upstart Fisker, which has received government loan money to help develop its new technology. But the company said the fan recall is not expected to have a "material financial impact." The Karma also had to be recalled earlier this summer because coolant could leak and potentially start a fire.

Fisker dealers will contact customers, who also will get letters from the company. The Anaheim, Calif., company says cooling fans will be replaced and another fuse installed for added protection. Fisker said it is working with the company that supplied the fan.

The Karma is a $100,000 car that can go 30 to 40 miles on battery power. It has a backup gas engine if the battery is depleted. Fisker has sold just over 1,000 since last fall.

Fisker has received $193 million of a $529 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, mostly for work on the Karma. Fisker also has a midsize sedan, the Atlantic, in development. That project was delayed after the Energy Department suspended the loan after the introduction of the Karma was delayed because of trouble with battery packs and other issues.

Fisker said in May that it raised $174 million in private financing and took in $100 million in revenue in the first four months of this year.

Last week the company hired Tony Posawatz, 52, as its new CEO. Posawatz was formerly the head of electric vehicles at General Motors Co.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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