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Approximately 16 of the more than $100,000 Fisker Karma extended-range luxury hybrids were parked in Port Newark, N.J. on Oct. 29 when water from hurricane Sandy’s storm surge apparently breached the port and submerged the vehicles. Jalopnik reported the cars then caught fire and burned to the ground.
A source says they were “first submerged in a storm surge and then caught fire, exploded.” This wouldn’t be the first time the vehicles, which use a small gasoline engine to charge batteries that provide energy to two electric motors, had an issue with sudden combustion.
The vehicle, despite only being in limited production, has already experienced numerous fires due to equipment failures and electrical shorts. How, exactly, they caught fire after being submerged in sea water is unclear. It’s possible the salt water caused a short that led to a fire.
Calls to Fisker and the Port Newark Container Terminal were not returned, but Fisker released a statement:
“It was reported today that several Fisker Karmas were damaged by fire at the Port of Newark after being submerged in sea water during Superstorm Sandy. We can report that there were no injuries and none of the cars were being charged at the time.
We have confidence in the Fisker Karma and safety is our primary concern. While we intend to find the cause as quickly as possible, storm damage has restricted access to the port.
We will issue a further statement once the root cause has been determined.”