I owned the Fisker Ocean. It was a nightmare.

The Fisker Ocean electric SUV.
A Fisker Ocean owner recalled a nightmarish six months with the vehicle before he sold it.Fisker
  • Earlier this year, YouTuber Marques Brownlee said the Fisker Ocean was the "worst car I've ever reviewed."

  • A former Fisker owner said he'd dealt with many of the same issues as Brownlee for months.

  • Fisker has paused production of its EV and warned it faces the risk of a bankruptcy filing.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with a former Fisker owner, who asked to remain anonymous to avoid backlash from the company but whose identity is known to Business Insider. A Fisker spokesperson told BI that the company monitors vehicle performance and customer feedback and has sent out multiple software updates, with a 2.0 update now rolling out. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

I owned a Jaguar I-PACE for four years. So I was used to the electric vehicle experience. It drove well and I didn't have any issues with it, but I didn't feel Jaguar was really invested in it. They put out the car and there weren't a lot of updates to it after that, so I felt it was time to get a different EV.

I thought the Fisker Ocean was a great option, based on the price and a nice marketing message around the sustainability of the vehicle. I also thought their involvement with Magna and the way the business model was set up indicated that the vehicle quality was going to be good. I never looked at a Tesla because I was not a fan of Elon Musk and had concerns about their build quality at that time.

I was on the Fisker waitlist for about a year before I got the car. It was meant to be my daily driver, but that wasn't possible due to all the issues I had with it. It was a nightmare and I feel like Fisker's response has been horrible.

I got the vehicle at the beginning of October. From the second day of driving the car, I started having issues with the Advanced Driver-Assistant System (ADAS), a system designed to use sensors and cameras on the car to improve the safety of the vehicle and detect issues a human might miss. Multiple warnings would come up, such as regenerative braking, front collision, front cameras, side sensors, and daytime running lights being unavailable. I'd see a combination of any one of those when I was driving it.

I reported the ADAS issues to Fisker and I didn't feel they were very responsive. I emailed them at least nine different times about the issue and no one came out to fix it. A tech came out for a different issue and when I told him about it he said they'd fix the ADAS issues in a larger software update — that was last November and they said that for five months.

My car was stuck in my driveway for 9 days

In the six months that I owned my Fisker, it was serviced four times by a technician.

Getting a response when I reached out for service was difficult.

When my car was dead in my driveway, I reached out several times before they responded. I finally got them to come out by commenting on a public post on their Instagram account — that got a quick response.

About three or four weeks into owning it, Fisker did an over-the-air update. The morning after the update I could hear the alarm going off in the car. It went off for probably 30 minutes and then the 12-volt battery died.

I reported the issue to Fisker right away and I struggled to get them to come out and service it. They initially wouldn't tell me when they'd come out.

I eventually reached out to them on Instagram and the response was: "Your case has been escalated."

I told them: "The car is not drivable. It's stuck in my driveway." When the 12-volt dies, you can't even get into the car, you can't start it — you can't really do anything.

The 2023 Fisker Ocean.
The 2023 Fisker Ocean.Fisker

At first, Fisker sent out a roadside assistance guy to jump the car and the car wouldn't jump. The guy Fisker initially sent said he wasn't qualified to replace the battery, so the car was in my driveway for nine days before they got a technician out who could replace it.

That wasn't the only issue the technician fixed. He also replaced my seat sensor. It'd been getting to the point where almost every day I had to move around in the seat in order to get the sensor to register that I was sitting in it so I could get it to drive. I'd heard stories on Fiskerati of people getting stuck in drive-thrus or car washes because they'd put their Fisker Ocean into park and then when they'd try to pull forward it wouldn't register them in the seat.

Getting into the car was another issue. Fisker's key fob can be pretty finicky. You couldn't unlock or lock the car from certain angles or distances. I asked the tech who fixed my 12-volt battery and he said the best way to fix it was to just buy another key fob battery. That worked for me but it meant I had to buy a new battery for the fob about once a month.

I wanted to get rid of it before it could lose any more value

It felt like there was a deadline looming over my head for when I needed to get rid of the car, between YouTuber Marques Brownlee's review and reports of a possible bankruptcy.

In December, I got estimates from Carmax and Carvana. One was $58,000 and the other was about $60,000. I'd paid over $72,000 for the car only three months prior and I initially didn't want to take that much of a haircut.

In early March, I got estimates of $44,000 and $47,000. I was very concerned about the value of that car and what could happen to any type of service requests or if I ran into more problems going forward.

I feel like Fisker has really hosed their buyers. It felt like every step of the way they said things were going to get better with the next update, but it felt like delay after delay.

Eventually, my goal was to try to get rid of the car and sell it before its value could sink any further. I sold it for $48,000 later in March at about a $24,000 loss. My car had less than 1,800 miles on it at the time of the sale.

A Fisker spokesperson told Business Insider that "many of the issues noted have been resolved with the latest 2.0 software update that has rolled out to customer vehicles these past couple of weeks." The company said that the new update would address problems the owner experienced like the ADAS and key fob issues, and that past updates addressed issues related to the 12-volt battery dying and the car alarm going off.

The company declined to comment on the owner's issues with customer service, but said it has an "established escalation process" for its service process. "This is similar to what a customer of any vehicle brand would experience, as oftentimes vehicles cannot be fully serviced by mobile technicians," the spokesperson said.

Regarding the owner's seat-sensor issue, the Fisker spokesperson said the seat sensor was a "routine fix for some early vehicles."

Read the original article on Business Insider