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Light My Fire: Gov't Subsidized Automaker Recalls Hybrid Model Over Safety Concerns


Electric-car maker Fisker Automotive is recalling all of its $100,000 Karma sports sedans to fix cooling fans that can catch fire. The recall comes after Fisker and a private fire investigation firm finished probing an Aug. 10 fire in a Karma in Woodside, Calif.

It was the second of its kind.

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. Wiring in the fan failed and it overheated, causing the slow-burning fire, Fisker said Saturday.

Fisker said in a statement that the fire had nothing to do with car's lithium-ion battery or other “new technology” components:

The investigation located the ignition source to the left front of the Karma, forward of the wheel, where the low temperature cooling fan is located. The final conclusion was that this sealed component had an internal fault that caused it to fail, overheat and start a slow burning fire.

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

Financially speaking, the recall isn’t going to help Fisker, which has received $193 million of a $529 million federal loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy. Oh, and in case you weren’t aware, the company also has a midsize sedan, the Atlantic, in development, but that project has been on hold ever since the DOE suspended Fisker's loan following the Karma battery trouble.

So, between the fan problem and the fact that the Karma had to be recalled earlier this summer because of coolant leak issues -- and despite Fisker's assurances that the fan recall is not expected to have a "material financial impact" -- it looks like the government subsidized automaker is having some serious problems.

“[T]hings … are so bad that also last week Fisker announced its third CEO hire in the past year (when in a supremely ironic move it hired the former head of the Chevy Volt program Tony Posawatz),” Zero Hedge notes.

“Oh well: nothing that burning, quite literally, severeal [sic] hundred more million in taxpayer funding won't solve,” the Hedge adds.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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