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Rockntractor
12-31-2011, 01:31 PM
By CHRISTOPHER JENSEN


Fisker Automotive is recalling all 239 of its 2012 Karma luxury plug-in hybrid cars because of a fire hazard, according to a report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Prices on the 2012 model start at $103,000, including the destination charge.

In a report filed recently on the agency’s Web site, Fisker said some hose clamps were not properly positioned, which could allow a coolant leak. “If coolant enters the battery compartment an electrical short could possibly occur, causing a thermal event within the battery, including a possible fire in the worse case,” the company told the safety agency.

Fisker said the problem was discovered on Dec. 16, when workers at the Valmet Automotive assembly plant in Finland noticed coolant dripping. Fisker said it was not aware of any consumer complaints, warranty claims or “any other reports related to this condition.” It said fewer than 50 vehicles were in the hands of consumers.

Under federal regulations dealers may not sell the remaining new models until the recall is completed.

In other recall developments:

• General Motors is recalling almost 4,300 of its new 2012 Chevrolet Sonics because they might be missing “the front brake inner or outer pad.”

In a filing with the safety agency, G.M. said this could “produce noise when the brakes are applied, result in reduced brake system performance and require a longer distance to stop the vehicle.”

The automaker said that it learned of the defect when an owner complaining of the car’s brake noise brought the car to a dealership at the end of November. G.M. said it was not aware of any accidents related to the Sonic’s brakes. The Sonic is built in Orion Township, Mich.

• Honda is recalling nine of its 2012 Odyssey minivans because a retention nut for part of the front, lower right suspension may loosen and result in a loss of steering.

In a filing Friday with the agency, Honda said if the nut came off, a bolt could come out and cause “the wheel assembly to shift to an extreme inward angle, resulting in a loss of steering.” Honda said it learned of the problem from a dealer on Dec. 1. There was no mention of any accidents.

• Piaggio Group America is recalling about 2,150 of its 2010-11 motor scooters with four-stroke, four-valve 50 cc engines because the engine could backfire and possibly catch fire. The models are the Fly 50; Vespa LX50 and Vespa S 50.

• N.H.T.S.A. said it was investigating possible rust-related safety problems on about 17,000 2003 Chevrolet Express vans and 63,000 2004 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans.

The concern with the Express is leaking gasoline, while the Freestar/Monterey issue involves rear wheel arches rusting so badly that seat-belt anchors for the third row will not hold.

For more information or to report a safety problem, go to www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Owners/.
http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/30/fisker-recalling-239-karma-electric-cars-for-fire-hazard/#