The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a preliminary investigation into potential braking issues plaguing the 2023 Fisker Ocean SUV. This action stems from nine complaints alleging sudden loss of braking performance, particularly on low-traction surfaces.
The reported issues:
- Partial brake loss: Drivers reported a partial loss of braking power, often without warning, on wet roads, gravel, or uneven surfaces. This resulted in a significant increase in stopping distance, raising safety concerns.
- Intermittent braking function: Some complaints mentioned an intermittent loss of “blended braking,” which combines the conventional braking system with regenerative braking in electric vehicles. This could lead to unpredictable braking behavior.
- Crash and injury: One complaint involved a crash allegedly linked to the braking issue, resulting in an injury.
In light of these reports, the NHTSA has opened a Preliminary Evaluation (PE) to assess the scope and severity of the potential problem. This investigation will involve:
- Reviewing complaint details: Analyzing the nine reported incidents to understand the specific circumstances and nature of the braking issues.
- Gathering additional data: Collecting information from Fisker, field reports, and other sources to determine the affected vehicle population.
- Evaluating safety risks: Assessing the potential safety implications of the reported braking problems and their impact on drivers and passengers.
The next steps:
The PE is the initial stage of the investigation process. Based on its findings, NHTSA could:
- Request additional information from Fisker: This could involve technical data, testing results, or production records to understand the cause of the problem.
- Expand the investigation: If the initial findings raise serious concerns, NHTSA could broaden the scope of the investigation to include more vehicles or additional safety aspects.
- Order a recall: If a safety defect is identified, NHTSA could require Fisker to issue a recall to repair affected vehicles.
Fisker has not yet issued a public statement regarding the NHTSA investigation. The company is likely cooperating with the agency’s investigation and will be expected to provide relevant information to assist with the assessment.
While the investigation is ongoing, Fisker Ocean owners are advised to:
- Maintain vehicle awareness: Pay close attention to braking performance, particularly on low-traction surfaces.
- Report any issues: If you experience any sudden braking loss or other concerns, immediately report them to NHTSA through its website or by calling 1-888-327-4235.
- Stay informed: Monitor Fisker’s official channels and NHTSA updates for further information on the investigation and any potential recalls.