Feds Open Second Investigation Into Fisker’s Ocean SUV After Wheelchair Complaints


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a second is investigating the Ocean SUV from Fisker, an electric vehicle startup, after the agency received four complaints about the vehicle rolling unexpectedly, including one with injuries.

The company tells TechCrunch that it is “fully cooperating” with the security agency.

The new probe is just arriving a month after NHTSA’s Office of Defect Investigation began investigating complaints about a sudden loss of braking performance. Fisker says this issue was resolved with a software update distributed to vehicles in December.

Fisker has had problems with the Ocean since it began delivering the SUV last year. Owners have been complaining to the company for months about the SUV’s sudden loss of power, problems getting in and out of the vehicle, difficulty shifting gears and the SUV’s hood flying off, TechCrunch revealed last week.

The four complaints NHTSA references describe scenarios in which owners had difficulty entering or exiting the park. An owner in Pennsylvania claims his Ocean sometimes shifts into neutral instead of park, causing the SUV to back up. On one occasion in December, this owner said they got out of the SUV when it started rolling and the open driver’s side door knocked them to the ground. The owner says they were able to “get up, jump in the car and stop it before it hit another car.”

NHTSA’s ODI can initiate four levels of investigation: defect petition, preliminary evaluation, recall petition, and technical analysis. Similar to the braking investigation, this moving complaint investigation is classified as a preliminary assessment, which the agency says it is trying to complete within eight months. NHTSA says the purpose of the preliminary assessment is to “determine the extent and severity of the potential problem and to fully evaluate potential safety-related issues.”


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