It's official: every Fisker Ocean sold in the U.S. is being recalled.

Fisker issued a recall and stop-sale of all 2023 Fisker Oceans produced through May, when Magna officially paused production, over door handles that "may stick" and prevent passengers from opening the door to enter or exit the vehicle. With Fisker currently in bankruptcy proceedings that will likely result in liquidation, the timing couldn't be worse.

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Fisker's Bankruptcy Leaves Owners In EV Purgatory

After some rather questionable business decisions and a year of producing its flagship Ocean SUV, Fisker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month. Owners are now scrambling to figure out how to service their vehicles, all while parts are becoming more scarce, and the future of the car's buggy software is unknown.

Fisker says the issue is caused by a "dimensional variation" in the door handle measurements. An out-of-spec door handle could experience additional friction and not exert enough retracting force. The automaker estimates that around 3% of the 8,204 Oceans produced and sold in the U.S. are affected.

From Fisker's recall notice:

On certain vehicles, the outer door handles may stick, preventing customers from entering or exiting. Following thorough investigations, Fisker Engineering has identified this as a potential safety concern. The issue is critical in scenarios where the vehicle cannot be exited, likely due to a malfunctioning door mechanism.

Service technicians can use a special tool to test if a vehicle is affected, and if so, Fisker's technical service bulletin calls for any faulty door handle to be replaced.

This is Fisker's second stop-sale in under a month. Fisker recently recalled all Oceans due to a powertrain module that could erroneously enter a protection mode and cause a loss of power. The fix was simply a software update, which is much easier to implement than a hardware fix, given Fisker's current financial situation.

Fisker is also in hot water now that it's stuck with a few thousand units of the Ocean that it can't sell until it either fixes affected cars, or they are validated as not being affected by the recall. The automaker has already put its cars on fire sale to offload the remaining inventory, but now those cars can't be delivered to customers until they are fixed.

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What isn't clear is what could happen to owners affected by the recall if Fisker closes its doors.

During the 2008 financial crisis, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that even a bankruptcy filing wouldn't relieve an automaker's obligation to recall defective vehicles. However, unlike GM's handling of recalls for the Pontiac and Saturn brands shuttered in 2010, Fisker isn't associated with a larger parent company.

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