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Battery-Carmakers Fisker, Tesla Dealt Legal Blows

Fisker wins money it may never collect, Tesla slammed for wrongful termination.

by on Apr.18, 2013

Former Tesla flak David Vespremi inside his new Epic Torq roadster. Photo Courtesy:

It hasn’t been a good week in court for either Fisker Automotive or Tesla Motors, both companies handed unexpected legal setbacks.

For Fisker, a federal bankruptcy judge ruled the maker will get only a fraction it had hoped for from its battery supplier, the former A123 Systems. That could make it all the more difficult for the plug-in hybrid maker to forestall its own plunge into Chapter 11, something now widely expected.

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As for Tesla, its former communications chief has finally prevailed in a lawsuit alleging he was wrongly dismissed from the company in what has been described as a “Stealth Bloodbath,” and stands to be awarded more than $200,000.  But the case could set a precedent for 99 other workers who’ve filed identical claims against the electric vehicle manufacturer.


Fisker May Push Back 2nd, Cheaper Model to 2015

Maker warns investors of delays.

by on Oct.17, 2012

The Fisker Atlantic prototype during its unveiling in New York last spring.

While it could make the difference between long-term success or failure, start-up battery-car maker Fisker Automotive is pushing back the planned launch of its second product line, the maker’s new chief executive has told investors, possibly to as late as 2015.

That’s a setback for the company that, only recently, had hinted it might begin testing a prototype of the vehicle, to be dubbed the Fisker Atlantic, by early next year. On the positive side, the California-based maker of plug-in hybrid sports cars has learned that its battery supplier won’t be going out of business as some had feared.

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But the latest apparent delay could be a serious problems for the maker as the Atlantic is designed to be its first truly mainstream product and its primary source of revenue in the mid-term future.


Battery Recall Latest Setback for Fisker Karma

Defective lithium battery packs will be replaced.

by on Mar.26, 2012

Fisker founder Henrik Fisker with the Karma.

It’s been one series of problems after another for battery-car start-up Fisker Automotive.  This time, the maker says it will have to replace potentially defective batteries in its Karma plug-in hybrid due to a manufacturing problem discovered by supplier A123.

Fisker itself plans to take steps to cover potential problems with the Karma, including offering owners an extended warranty.

The problem came to light earlier this month when a Fisker Karma delivered for testing to Consumer Reports magazine froze up and wouldn’t shift out of Park.  It was quickly determined that the problem was the result of a short circuit in the battery that put the vehicle into failsafe mode.

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Battery maker A123 now acknowledges that a manufacturing glitch at a plant in Michigan caused the problem – which also plagues five other battery car projects.  The supplier won’t say who the other customers are, nor will it reveal the precise number of batteries impacted by the glitch but it announced the recall of potentially defective lithium-ion packs will cost A123 about $55 million.