There was a time not so long ago when someone wanting a high-end plug-in car had two choices: an all-electric Tesla Model S or a Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid sports sedan. In fact, the Fisker Karma started deliveries slightly ahead of the Tesla Model S, with the first Fisker Karma going to venture capitalist Ray Lane of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byer back in July 2011 (although that was generally considered a publicity stunt: other customer deliveries didn’t take place for several more months).
Less than two years later, with less than 2,500 Karmas built, Fisker was in trouble, plagued by recalls and battery problems. After ending production in November 2012 due to financial woes, the company furloughed its workers in March 2013 and declared bankruptcy eight months later. The U.S. Department of Energy — which had loaned the company $192 million under the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program — auctioned off Fiskers’ debts for $25 million, and the remains of the company’s assets was purchased by Chinese company Wanxiang.
Since then, we’ve heard various promises from Wanxaing that the Fisker Karma will return, first as the Fisker Karma but more recently as the renamed Elux, some time around 2017. Other than promises, we’ve heard very little.
Yet today, as our friends over at GreenCarReports detail, Fisker’s new owners have just launched a new website promising an all-new Customer Support Program (CSP) for existing Karma owners. Complete with a network of fifteen different service centres across the U.S. where CSP service will be carried out, Fisker’s new owners seem keen to win back the trust of fans and owners who have spent the past few years left out in the cold.
Under the CSP program, Fisker will offer up to $2,000 of parts and labor combined for each original Fisker Karma in need of service, while those who have owned their car from new will be able to claim up to $2,000 in parts plus an additional $1,000 in labor fees.
Anyone with a Fisker Karma can register for this new program by heading to the New Fisker website and entering their car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in the automated checking system.
As the letter to registered Karma owners obtained by GreenCarReports states.
Dear (Insert owners name), Yes, we’re back! With superb financial and strategic support, we have assembled a world-class management team to re-launch the Karma and introduce future models. During the months and years to come, we will engage in an active relationship with Fisker Karma owners like you as well as future owners of our unique and innovative vehicles to come. And among the first steps in building this new relationship is the Karma Customer Support Program (CSP). Through this program, we are identifying authorized CSP providers who can assist you with your service and parts needs. Our parts inventory contains most everything your Karma might need for its operation, safety and appearance. CURRENT OWNERS As a current owner of a Fisker Karma, your CSP provider will provide parts and labor for covered repairs free of charge up to $2,000*.
As an original owner of the Fisker Karma, you are entitled to additional CSP benefits of $2,000 for parts and $1,000 for labor for covered repairs above the Owners CSP benefits*. Your CSP provider can provide you with information about remaining CSP benefits. Look for our convenient CSP directory map on the TheNewFisker.com website. And while you’re there, I encourage you to register as an owner to make sure you stay up to date on all the latest news. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us through our Customer Service Line at 844.276.3589. Outside the USA please go to http://www.thenewfisker.com
Offering an EPA-approved range of 32 miles per charge from a 20.1 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and a combined fuel economy of 20 mpg when operating solely off its 2.0-litre, four-cylinder gasoline engine, the Fisker Karma isn’t the most efficient of sports sedans out there.
But with the average used Fisker Karma fetching between $50,000 and $60,000 on auction sites like eBay, up to $2,000 of free repair and warranty work could be just what speculative buyers and car collectors need to snap up one of these plug-in hybrid sports sedans.
Given the time that has passed between the original Fisker Karma debut and today’s announcement however, the continually-evolving Tesla Model S lineup is likely to dissuade all but the most ardent of Karma fans from buying one.
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