Amid all the damage left in Hurricane Sandy’s wake is an automotive whodunit, or rather, what-dunit? What caused more than a million dollars-worth of plug-in hybrid vehicles, including 16 Fisker Karma luxury sedans, to catch fire Monday night at Port Newark?
Fisker, based in Anaheim, Calif., has had problems with vehicle fires in the past, including one incident this year that prompted the recall of more than 2,000 Karmas to replace a faulty cooling fan.
But the circumstances during the big storm were clearly unusual, raising the question of whether this latest incident is a sign of design flaws, of possible risks associated with plug-in vehicles generally or simply a result of the abuses wrought by extremely rare weather conditions — or some combination of the three.
Shows what I know – I wasn’t even aware there was a thing called a hybrid car.