Fisker's Ocean SUV investigated for doors that won't open | TechCrunch

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a third investigation into EV startup Fisker’s Ocean SUV, this time centered on problems getting the doors to open.

The NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) says in a new notice that it has received 14 complaints from owners who have not been able to open the doors to their Fisker Oceans, either from the inside or the outside. The agency says the complaints point to an “intermittent failure” of the door latch and handle system. The complaints also raise the possibility that the emergency override mechanism also does not work.

Customers have reported getting stuck in or out of their car to Fisker for months, according to internal documents that TechCrunch exclusively reported on in February. Some of those incidents were related to the Ocean’s troublesome key fob. But the new safety probe suggests a deeper problem with the SUV’s doors. The investigation is designated as a “preliminary evaluation,” which ODI typically resolves within eight months.

The Ocean SUV is already being investigated by ODI over problems with its braking system, and for complaints about the vehicle rolling away on uneven surfaces. The company has not issued any recalls for the Ocean. Fisker told TechCrunch it is “fully cooperating with NHTSA on this matter.”

The third probe is being opened as Fisker is on the brink. It paused production of the Ocean in March and reported just $121 million in the bank. Fisker is still sitting on thousands of Ocean SUVs in inventory that it is struggling to sell, either directly or through its nascent dealership model, and recently slashed prices by up to 39% in a desperate attempt to generate sales. It was recently removed from the New York Stock Exchange. A potential partnership with Nissan fell through, endangering an attempt at securing $150 million in rescue funding.

This story has been updated to include a comment from Fisker.

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