Karma Revero recalled because airbag rollover sensors were disabled
The flaw was discovered while testing the 2020 Revero.
Jake HolmesReviews Editor
While studying traditional news journalism in college, Jake realized he was smitten by all things automotive and wound up with an internship at Car and Driver. That led to a career writing news, review and feature stories about all things automotive at Automobile Magazine, most recently at Motor1. When he's not driving, fixing or talking about cars, he's most often found on a bicycle.
Karma Automotive has announced a recall and a stop-sale order for its Revero plug-in hybrid. The reason? Although the Revero has side-curtain airbags to help protect occupants in a rollover crash, those airbags may not deploy because the car's rollover sensors were never enabled.
Specifically, Karma said that the Revero violates a federal rules requiring "occupant ejection" systems in new cars because the rollover sensors aren't functional, do not have a readiness warning light in the car's dashboard and there is no information on the system in the car's owner's manual. And, of course, if the airbags failed to deploy in a crash, that could increase the risk of injury to the car's passengers. However, the automaker says it has no reports of real-world problems or injuries resulting from the sensor issue.
Karma discovered the flaw when it was testing the second-generation 2020 Revero, realizing that the rollover sensors in those models were disabled. That led to an investigation of the current Revero, resulting in the stop-sale notice sent to dealers on April 11 and to the recall action. The recall applies to the 2018 Karma Revero built after Sept. 1, 2017. Because sales of the Revero have been very slow, however, Karma said the recall affects only 231 cars.
To fix the problem, Karma plans to install a new airbag control unit in all of the affected cars, as well as providing owners with a supplemental guide about the system's operating, its warning light and what to do if the warning light illuminates. Karma expects to be ready to begin the recall by July.
As a refresher, the Karma Revero is essentially a continuation of the Fisker Karma. It's a plug-in hybrid with claimed 0-to-60-miles-per-hour acceleration of as little as 5.4 seconds, while also boasting an all-electric driving range of 37 miles in EPA testing.
2017 Karma Revero looks like a Fisker, but much improved underneath