Fisker Ocean Problems Sound Serious

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Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - February 14, 2024
2023 Fisker Ocean

The Fisker Ocean, the first vehicle from electric startup Fisker, is a high-tech, affordable, and fresh take on a small electric SUV. Unfortunately, it sounds like early adopters who purchased Fisker’s first electric vehicle are facing some serious issues. According to TechCrunch, who viewed some of the automaker’s internal documents, owners are noting a sudden loss of power, issues with the SUV’s brakes, problem-prone key fobs, a front hood that randomly pops up at high speeds, and seat sensors that don’t detect when passengers are in the seats. While some may claim the problems are teething issues, they sound a little more serious.

Issues with the Ocean, reportedly, started immediately. The outlet claims that Wendy Greuel, one of Fisker’s board members, was one of the first to take delivery of an Ocean. On the same day that Greuel took delivery of her Ocean, it “lost power on a public road,” claims unnamed employees who are familiar with the issue. Fisker claims that the issue with Greuel’s vehicle was fixed.

Internal documents outline a similar issue when Geeta Gupta Fisker, Fisker’s CFO and Henrik Fisker’s wife, went for a drive in an Ocean SUV. This time around, Fisker blamed this loss of power on a compatibility issue with a “special engineering data logger” that’s not installed in cars that get shipped to customers.

2023 Fisker Ocean Dashboard

Since these initial issues, customers who own a Fisker Ocean have reported more than 100 incidents where the electric SUV has lost power. In Fisker’s defense, the automaker told TechCrunch that the power-loss issues are rare and that software updates have resolved “almost all the issues.” While Fisker claims that it has fixed one issue, Ocean owners continue to have other issues with their EVs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently opened a preliminary investigation into braking issues with the Ocean after receiving several complaints from owners. According to the NHTSA's website, affected owners have complained of “partial loss of braking over low traction surfaces,” which can increase stopping distance. Other complaints allege that when braking on a bumpy or low traction surface, the Ocean “may exhibit an intermittent loss of blended braking function.” The NHTSA is aware of a crash and an injury from the SUV’s braking issues. Fisker claims that it resolved the Ocean’s braking issues, but the NHTSA’s investigation remains open.

While a loss of power and braking issues are major problems that would stop Ocean owners from using their vehicles, the internal documents that TechCrunch saw outline a variety of other problems with the electric SUV. Other issues included: dying 12-volt batteries that caused the Ocean to suddenly shut down; power loss due to a faulty in-cabin water pump, issues with advanced safety features; faulty key fobs that have locked owners out of the vehicle; being locked inside the Ocean; the hood flying open at high speeds; and a faulty seat sensor that won’t detect the driver being in the seat.

2023 Fisker Ocean

TechCrunch has some horror stories from current Ocean owners. One owner claimed they had a battery error while driving on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles that brought their vehicle to a stop in the passing lane, while another owner claimed that their Ocean stopped in the desert on the way to Las Vegas. Another Ocean owner claims that their EV shut off at a red light, restarted to show the same error code, started to shake back and forth, and then “shut off in the middle of the street.”

Fisker reached out to CarBuzz with a statement on an upcoming software update that should fix a lot of the Ocean’s current issues. The Ocean OS 2.0 Software Update is currently being sent out to owners and will address “performance and powertrain improvements,” as well as other user experience issues. The software update will be administered in three over-the-air updates that started earlier this week.

Owners, understandably, are upset about the problems they’re having with their Ocean SUVs. Some have even filed lawsuits under California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act in Los Angeles County, claims TechCrunch. Others have followed similar suits in San Mateo and Sacramento counties. According to these lawsuits, owners allege that Fisker violated its warranty by refusing to fix their affected vehicles in a timely manner.

Despite customer reports, Fisker delivered roughly 4,900 Ocean SUVs last year. The automaker is looking to expand, as its CEO, Henrik Fisker, recently announced plans to sign on 50 dealers in the U.S. by the middle of the year. While the Ocean was Fisker’s first EV, it won’t be the brand’s last. Fisker already has other EVs in the works, which include the Pear and Alaska. While Fisker isn’t alone in having serious issues with new EVs, these are large problems that could make shoppers reconsider purchasing a model from the automaker. We hope Fisker can fix the issue with the Ocean, because the automaker has some exciting vehicles in the pipeline.

Pictured: 2023 Fisker Ocean

Source: CarBuzz, TechCrunch

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, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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