American regulators are scrutinizing the safety of the 2023 Fisker Ocean, following a series of alarming complaints from vehicle owners who report hazardous declines in braking performance.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed the reception of nine complaints related to the 2023 Ocean, including one incident that resulted in a fire. As a response, the NHTSA has initiated a preliminary evaluation, focusing on approximately 4,000 units of the electric vehicle.
Complaints lodged by owners encompass a range of issues, all centered around braking concerns. Notably, drivers have raised concerns about the complete loss of regenerative braking when traversing uneven surfaces, such as streets under construction. Some owners have also reported temporary failures in the hydraulic braking system during such incidents.
Despite attempts to seek clarification from Fisker on this matter, the company has not issued an immediate response.
However, not all grievances are limited to brake malfunctions. A driver in Coppell, Texas, recounted an incident where the parking brake unexpectedly engaged while traveling on a highway. Despite efforts to disengage it, the driver found themselves in a precarious situation.
“Due to the higher speed of being on a state highway, the vehicle quickly became unstable, and within a few seconds, the brakes locked up, and I went into a spin crossing two lanes in the process,” shared the complainant. “I was lucky that no other vehicles were in the path of travel, and I eventually came to a stop pointing the wrong way on a 6-lane highway.”
Thankfully, no collisions occurred, and the driver managed to pull off the road. However, upon inspection, they detected a burning smell and observed smoke emanating from the brakes, with both rear wheels reportedly catching fire.
In response to these incidents, the NHTSA has launched a comprehensive investigation, pledging to assess the available information to determine the severity of the potential safety issue and its implications for driver safety. If the NHTSA deems there is a substantial risk, it may require Fisker to initiate a recall campaign.