Hurricane Sandy damage: 200,000 cars destroyed by fire, water

James Raia

The devastation of Hurricane Sandy not only affected the business of numerous auto dealerships but it’s estimated about 200,000 vehicles will have to be replaced, including  15,000 new Nissan and Infiniti models and 338 Fisker Karma models.

The loss of the Fisker Karma units, including 16 in a fire, while small in numbers represented nearly $35 million, since the base of the specialty car is $103,000.

According to a Fisker Karma spokesperson:

“Fisker engineers determined that the damage to the Karmas was the result of the cars being submerged under five to eight feet of seawater for several hours that left corrosive salt in a low‑voltage Vehicle Control Unit in one Karma.  The Vehicle Control Unit is a standard component found in many types of vehicles and is powered by a typical 12V car battery.

“This residual salt damage caused a short circuit, which led to a fire that heavy winds then spread to other Karmas parked nearby.  There were no explosions as had been inaccurately reported.  The Karma’s lithium-ion batteries were ruled out as a cause or contributing factor.”

Article Last Updated: November 11, 2012.

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