Fisker Karma car dies in Consumer Reports testing
* Car dies at Consumer Reports test track
* Model had less than 200 miles on it
* Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber own Karmas
By Ben Klayman
DETROIT, March 8 (Reuters) - A $100,000-plus Fisker Automotive luxury car died during Consumer Reports speed testing for reasons that are still unknown, leaving the struggling electric car startup with another blow to its image.
"It is a little disconcerting that you pay that amount of money for a car and it lasts basically 180 miles before going wrong," David Champion, senior director for the magazine's automotive test center, told Reuters.
Fisker has benefited from the publicity generated when actor Leonardo DiCaprio was handed the first Karma last summer and pop idol Justin Bieber received one as a gift this month.
The breakdown of the Consumer Reports car is more bad news for a company that already recalled some Karmas. Fisker also has changed its chief executive and halted production at its U.S. plant over the past month as it seeks to renegotiate the terms of a $529 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Fisker officials could not immediately be reached to comment, although Champion said since the magazine buys the cars it tests anonymously the company may not know. Continued...