US opens preliminary probe into Fisker's Ocean vehicles over door failure

WASHINGTON: The US auto safety regulator said on Wednesday it had opened a preliminary probe into Fisker's 2023 Ocean SUVs after complaints that the doors of the electric vehicles sometimes failed to open, the latest setback for the cash-strapped startup.

The regulator said its Office of Defects Investigation received 14 complaints alleging an intermittent failure of the latch and handle that prevented the opening of the driver, front passenger and/or rear doors.

Some of the reports also alleged the emergency override mechanism also failed to open the door.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) preliminary evaluation will look into the scope and severity of the potential problem to assess its impact on safety.

The regulator could close the investigation into Fisker without taking any potential action.

Fisker, whose stock was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange last month over failure to comply with listing norms, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

NHTSA is also investigating Fisker for two prior incidents - one regarding issues with the 2023 Ocean SUV's brakes and the other pertaining to unintended vehicle movement.

Fisker is facing mounting uncertainty after talks with a large automaker for a potential investment collapsed last month, forcing it to look for options including in- or out-of-court restructurings and capital market transactions.

The company said last week it would cut the prices of its 2023 Ocean SUV models to boost sales and raise capital to meet debt obligations as it faces depleting cash reserves.

Fisker, like other EV makers, is grappling with intense competition, as well as customers holding back big-ticket purchases due to higher borrowing costs and economic uncertainty.

The company said on March 18 that it would pause vehicle production for six weeks.
Autos Fisker