By: Gigaom
August 27, 2012 at 12:14 PM EDT
Coda recalls 78 electric sedans
Electric car startup Coda Automotive joins the ranks of its peers that have recalled early cars because of faulty parts. On Sunday Coda recalled 78 of its electric sedans because of a mis-installed side curtain air bag.

Electric car startup Coda Automotive says it has recalled 78 of its electric sedans because the car’s side curtain airbags may be mis-installed and may not go off in the event of an accident. It’s actually a pretty common occurrence for electric car startups to issue these types of recalls in the early days of production — Fisker has had a variety of these recalls, and Tesla had them back in the day for its first electric sports car the Roadster.

Cars have a lot of moving parts, and car companies have to rely on their suppliers to make sure the parts supplied are not faulty. Fisker has recalled batteries from A123 Systems, and a faulty cooling fan from a partner. When a company is working with third parties to assemble the cars, then that adds another element of risk.

After a lot of delays, Coda officially drove its electric sedan off the assembly line at its plant in the Northern California city of Benicia, California, back in March, saying that the move was the start of its customer sales. Coda’s sedan has an official EPA rating for an 88-mile range (the distance its batteries can go on a single charge), and fuel mileage of 73 miles per gallon equivalent (77 in the city and 68 on the highway).

The Coda sedan has a base cost of $37,900 down from a previous price of $44,900 (before any state and federal subsidies). Coda also boosted the battery warranty on its car to 10 years (up from 8 years) or 100,000 miles late last year.

Coda has a joint venture with China battery maker Lishen, called Lio (oil spelled backward), and is in the process of raising $150 million in funding to help get these inaugural cars to the first customers in California. Other investors in Coda include Aeris Capital and Singapore-based EDB Investments.


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