Fisker Sues Over Electric Vehicles Lost in Hurricane Sandy

After being plagued by a series of high-profile setbacks in the past year, electric vehicle maker Fisker Automotive is suing its insurer because it won’t compensate the company for cars destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

Fisker is suing XL Group Plc in the New York Supreme Court after it denied the insurance claim for the loss of 338 Karma plug-in hybrids worth about $33 million, reports Reuters.

A storm surge flooded a facility in Port Newark with more than five feet of water, destroying up to 10,000 vehicles. Some of those submerged were Fisker’s Karma which had been delivered from Europe and were on route to US dealers.

Fisker’s $100 million policy covers named storms such as Sandy. The dispute centers on whether the vehicles were in "transit" at the time of the loss, which could mean some some limits  apply, reports Reuters

Fisker is seeking damages for breach of contract in addition to the losses.

With damages of near $80 billion, Sandy could be the second costliest hurricane ever, after Katrina and insured losses are estimated at $25 billion.

California-based Fisker is one of the most heavily backed venture companies ever with almost $1.2 billion in private equity. It raised another $100 million in September to fund international expansion.

In the first nine months of 2012, Fisker delivered about 1,500 Karma hybrid sedans. The luxury car costs $103,000 and gets about 40 miles on a charge.

But Fisker has been plagued with a series of high-profile setbacks in the past year, including technical problems related to the car. It had to make three recalls, two of which were related to battery packs from now bankrupt A123 Systems. Several of its cars have also been destroyed in mysterious fires.

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