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NHTSA Investigates Fisker Ocean SUV Over Breaking Complaints

» Posted March 4, 2024Resources | Share This Post

Federal vehicle safety regulators recently launched an investigation into California automaker Fisker over complaints about its Ocean electric sport utility vehicle.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened the probe after receiving more than 20 complaints from owners about brake performance, the agency recently said. It is focusing on nine specific complaints, including one in which at least one person was injured in a crash said to be related to the issue. 

“The complaints allege a partial loss of braking over low traction surfaces, without alerting the driver. This results in a sudden increase in stopping distance,” NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation said in an investigation report. “Some complaints allege that while braking over a low traction or bumpy surface, the vehicle may exhibit an intermittent loss of blended braking function (a combination of the service brake system and regenerative braking).”

The probe covers about 4,000 Ocean sport utility vehicles from model year 2023. That was the first year that the electric vehicle company, which went public in 2020, shipped Ocean SUVs to buyers around the world.

“Fisker is fully cooperating with NHTSA on this matter,” the company said in a press release. 

“The Fisker Ocean brake system uses both friction braking and regenerative braking,” the company added. “In December 2023, Fisker responded to customer feedback and issued an Over-the-Air update (Version 1.10) to the regenerative system that improved the customer experience when traveling over bumps and uneven surfaces, resolving the issue. The Fisker Ocean brake system meets or exceeds all US and international performance requirements.”

NHTSA was launched in 1970 in an effort to ramp up enforcement of national vehicle safety standards. The agency is tasked with investigating consumer complaints and overseeing the recall process for defective vehicles.

ODI plays a key role in that process, but has been criticized in recent years for inefficiencies. 

The world’s largest automakers call back millions of vehicles every single year, citing a wide range of defects from shoddy brakes to manufacturing snafus that could cause engine fires. While many recalls are considered “voluntary,” they often do not happen until owners complain or NHTSA investigators start asking questions.

How the California Lemon Law Works

Car owners and lessors in California have some valuable rights and protections under the state’s lemon law when it comes to defective and malfunctioning cars. You often do not need to wait around for a recall to get your vehicles fixed.

The lemon law forces automakers to perform various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also requires those companies to buy back vehicles that they cannot or will not fix. That includes covering the purchase price and financing fees, as well as other related expenses.

Automakers can instead offer to replace the vehicle. It is up to the owner, however, to decide whether to accept or reject this alternative arrangement.

Talk with a Los Angeles Lemon Law Attorney

If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a Los Angeles lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.  

Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a Los Angeles lemon law attorney.

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Posted By: Sean S