Bloomberg News

A123 Says Batteries for Fisker Have Potential Safety Issue

January 03, 2012

(Updates shares in final paragraph.)

Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) -- A123 Systems Inc., the maker of batteries for electric vehicles, said it found a “potential safety issue” in batteries it supplies to Fisker Automotive Inc.

A123, which also sells batteries to automakers such as General Motors Co. and Daimler AG, said hose clamps that are part of the internal cooling system of its batteries supplied to Fisker were “misaligned” and may cause coolant to leak. Such a leak could lead to an electrical short circuit, David Vieau, chief executive officer, wrote in a memo on Waltham, Massachusetts-based A123’s investor-relations website.

“We have developed a confirmed repair for this situation,” Vieau wrote, adding that the company has begun to fix the fewer than 50 cars affected. A123 expects a “minimal financial impact” and its relationship with Fisker “remains strong,” he wrote.

Fisker, based in Anaheim, California, is ramping up U.S. deliveries of $102,000 Karma plug-in hybrid sedans. Shipments have begun with 225 sent to dealers and 1,200 units “in the pipeline,” Chief Executive Officer Henrik Fisker said in a Dec. 21 interview.

Karma production is now 25 units a day and may rise to 60 a day next year, said Fisker, a vehicle designer who has styled cars for Aston Martin and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s BMW.

A123 will supply battery packs for Detroit-based GM’s Chevrolet Spark electric subcompact going on sale in 2013. The company has reported losses in every quarter since 2008 and went public in September 2009.

A123 rose 2.9 percent to $1.77 at the close in New York.

--With assistance from Alan Ohnsman in Los Angeles. Editors: Bill Koenig, Niamh Ring

To contact the reporter on this story: Craig Trudell in Southfield, Michigan, at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net


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