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

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a third investigation into EV startup Fisker's Ocean SUV, this time centered on problems with opening the doors.

NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) said in a new notice that it received 14 complaints from owners who were unable to open the doors of their Fisker Oceans from the inside or outside. The agency said the complaints refer to “intermittent failure” of the door latch and handle system. Complaints also increase the non-functioning of the emergency override mechanism.

According to internal documents exclusively reported by TechCrunch in February, customers have been reporting to Fisker for months that they've been stuck in or out of their cars. Some of those incidents involved Ocean's enigmatic key fob. But a new safety probe points to a deeper problem with the SUV's doors. The investigation is termed a “preliminary evaluation”, which the ODI usually resolves within eight months.

The Ocean SUV is already being investigated by the ODI for problems with its braking system and complaints about the vehicle rolling on uneven surfaces. The company has not issued any recalls for Ocean. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A third probe is opening as Fisker is on edge. It halted Ocean production in March and reported just $121 million in the bank. Fisker is still sitting on an inventory of thousands of Ocean SUVs that it is struggling to sell either directly or through its new dealership model, and recently slashed prices by as much as 39% in a desperate attempt to generate sales. It was recently delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. A potential partnership with Nissan fell through, jeopardizing an effort to secure $150 million in rescue funding.

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