Owning this luxury Tesla rival is a nightmare, says report

The sleek Fisker Ocean crossover SUV was supposed to mark a comeback for the California-based automaker, as it prepares to make its mark among established players like Tesla  (TSLA)  and automotive giants like Ford  (F) , Mercedes  (DDAIF)  and BMW  (BMWYY)

As new products debut on the market, faults and glitches are usually expected, but Fisker’s problems might represent an outlier.

The Fisker Ocean all electric vehicle at the LA Auto Show.

Allen J. Schaben/Getty Images

According to a report by TechCrunch, Fisker  (FSR)  Ocean owners have reported a wide variety of problems and issues with the car, such as Oceans suddenly losing power and brakes, key fobs that lock them in or out of their cars, and front hoods unlatching and flying up at high speeds. 

In a customer complaint to Fisker, an Ocean owner complained that their SUV experienced a “battery system malfunction” that turned off the car while at a red light. Though the owner was able to restart the vehicle and drive away, the same error popped up again before it started to shake and shut off in the middle of the street — which prompted a Fisker employee to state that the owner was “scared.” 

In another customer complaint, an Ocean owner complained of the same error — popping up this time while driving on the infamous 405 freeway in Los Angeles. The owner reported that their car came to a stop on the left lane and partially blocked traffic. The owner got the car to drive again, but lost all confidence in the car; noting that they were “literally shivering” after the incident. 

“I COULD HAVE EASILY LOST MY LIFE,” the customer wrote to Fisker.

Fisker Ocean at the Mobile World Congress mobile trade show shortly before the vehicle’s launch. 

picture alliance/Getty Images

On Jan. 11, the NHTSA opened an investigation into the model’s alleged loss of braking, noting in a document that it has received nine complaints from owners. According to the regulators, the Ocean can experience “partial loss of braking over low traction surfaces, without alerting the driver,” resulting in “a sudden increase in stopping distance.”

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Additionally, some owners complained to Fisker about its key fobs. One owner stated that “locking and unlocking is like flipping a coin,” while another said they keep spare coin cell batteries on them because of its poor battery life.

“[W]e’ve been locked in the car numerous times and are afraid to drive anywhere not knowing if we can get out in a timely manner,” one owner wrote to the NHTSA.

Fisker told TechCrunch that the issues with power loss and the key fob are set to be resolved with an over-the-air software update coming soon. 

TheStreet reached out to Fisker for a response to the report and NHTSA investigation.

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