Earlier this month we talked about the various problems being experienced by car and automotive component manufacturers who had received taxpayer dollars to put “greener” vehicles on the road. The question also arose as to whether or not the White House was playing politics with a potentially deadly safety concern, as some batteries in these electric cars were demonstrating an annoying tendency to go up in flames.

One of the manufacturers was, as we noted, at least producing a few cars, though… Fisker Automotive. (Of course, they were making them in Finland.) Well, the revolutionary company is back in the news again.

Electric car company that received a $529M federal loan recalls vehicles

An electric vehicle manufacturer that received a $529 million loan from the Energy Department is recalling 239 vehicles.

The Transportation Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Thursday that the company, Fisker Automotive, will recall its Karma vehicles made between July 1, 2011, and Nov. 3, 2011, because of a faulty electric battery component that could cause a fire.

“Within the high-voltage battery, certain hose clamps may have been positioned incorrectly during assembly. If positioned incorrectly, the batter compartment cover could interfere with the hose clamps, potentially causing a coolant leak from the cooling hose,” NHTSA said in its recall notice Thursday.

“If coolant enters the battery compartment, an electrical short could occur possibly resulting in a fire.”

It’s a tough call to say which carries more irony here: the fact that they named their car “Karma” or the name of the company itself. (For those not familiar, the Urban Dictionary definition of “fisking” notes: The word is derived from articles written by Robert Fisk that were easily refuted, and refers to a point-by-point debunking of lies and/or idiocies. )

If and when alternate technology vehicles are ready for market and financially viable for the consumer, they will flourish if the demand exists for them and the price point is tolerable for drivers. But the “up in smoke” results of these experiments in Washington picking winners and losers on the taxpayer dime is instructive, if expensive. A123 Systems received $380 million of your money to produce batteries for cars and was also supposed to produce a lot of jobs. Instead, they’ve laid off a large portion of their workforce. A second battery maker, EnerDel, cashed in to the tune of $118 million in the form of a federal grant to make batteries for Think. They are now bankrupt. The list goes on from there.

Is anyone listening? And will they remember these stories next November?