Luckily, sales have been so slow that not many models have been affected.
The second-generation Karma Revero GT finally made its debut at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show last week, but the California-based automaker urgently needs to fix an issue it recently discovered in the current model. While testing the new 2020 model, Karma Automotive discovered that the side-curtain and head-protection airbags designed to protect occupants in a rollover aren't deploying. Why? Because the rollover sensors were never enabled. Whoops.
Karma says the Revero violates federal rules requiring "occupant ejection" systems in new cars because the rollover sensors aren't functional and do not have a readiness warning light in the car's dashboard. There is also no information on the system in the car's owner's manual. If the airbags fail to deploy in a crash, this obviously increases the risk of injury. Luckily, the automaker says it hasn't received any reports of injuries resulting from the sensor issue.
After the flaw was discovered in the second-generation 2020 Revero, Karma Automotive investigated the current Revero and discovered the rollover sensors also weren't enabled. As a result, a stop-sale notice has sent to dealers this month along with a recall campaign. Specifically, the recall applies to 2018 Karma Revero models built after September 1, 2017. Since sales of the Revero have been abysmally slow, the recall only affects 231 cars.
To fix the problem, Karma will install a new airbag control unit in all affected cars, and also provide owners with a supplemental guide about the how the system operates, its warning light and what to do if the warning light illuminates. Karma expects the recall to begin by July.
The current Karma Revero is based on the old Fisker Karma that was notoriously unreliable. The 403-hp plug-in hybrid will accelerate from 0-62 mph in just 5.4 seconds, while also boasting an all-electric driving range of 37 miles in EPA testing.
Its successor, on the other hand, uses a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine developed by BMW to power the on-board electric generator. Combined with dual motors, this setup delivers a combined output of 535 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque, enabling the luxury sedan to sprint from 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds and onto an electronically limited top speed of 125 mph.