By Ronan Glon
Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 @ 4:37 am
 
Investigators believe that a Fisker Karma is the source of a fire that caused approximately $100,000 worth of damage to a newly-built house in Sugar Land, Texas.

The owner of the house told the Fort Bend County fire department that he smelled burning rubber when he pulled the Karma into his garage. Less than three minutes later the hybrid-electric sedan was on fire.

The fire department has not been able to identify the precise cause of the blaze, but it is adamant that the Karma deserves the blame.

"Yes, the Karma was the origin of the fire, but what exactly caused that we don't know at this time," said Robert Baker, the chief fire investigator of Fort Bend County.

Fisker engineers and several insurance companies have joined the fire department in investigating the incident.

Autoweek asked Fisker if it had any comments about the fire. The company said that its cause has yet to be determined and that it is waiting for an official report to be published before it draws any conclusions.

Fisker added that "based on initial observations and inspections, the Karma's lithium ion battery pack was not being charged at the time and is still intact and does not appear to have been a contributing factor in this incident."

About 239 Karmas were recalled last December to fix an improperly-positioned hose clamp that could potentially lead to a fire.

The Karma that burst into flames last week was built after the recall. It still had temporary paper tags, meaning that it was less than 60 days old.

The fire totaled two other vehicles in the garage, a Mercedes-Benz SUV and an Acura NSX. There were no injuries reported.

All photos by AutoWeek.