Feds open second probe into Fisker’s Ocean SUV after rollaway complaints


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a second investigation into EV startup Fisker’s Ocean SUV, after the agency received four complaints about the vehicle rolling away unexpectedly, including one injury.

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

The new probe comes just one month after NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation began investigating complaints of sudden loss of braking performance. Fisker claims that problem was resolved with a software update that went out to vehicles in December.

Fisker has had problems with the Ocean since it first started delivering the SUV last year. Owners have complained to the company for months about the SUV suddenly losing power, problems getting in and out of the vehicle, trouble shifting into gear and the SUV’s hood flying up, TechCrunch revealed last week.

The four complaints NHTSA references describe scenarios where the owners had trouble shifting into or out of park. One owner in Pennsylvania claims that their Ocean sometimes shifts into neutral instead of park, causing the SUV to roll backwards. On one occasion in December, this owner says they exited the SUV when it started to roll away 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 open four levels of an investigation: Defect Petition, Preliminary Evaluation, Recall Query and Engineering Analysis. Similar to the braking probe, this investigation into the rollaway complaints is classified as a preliminary evaluation, which the agency says it tries to complete within eight months. NHTSA says the goal of the preliminary evaluation is to “determine the scope and severity of the potential problem and to fully assess the potential safety-related issues.”


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