Transmission supplier sues Tesla

Magna alleges Tesla Motors failed to pay for transmission work and is seeking $5.6 million in damages. The Tesla Roadster is a great car for getting to and from the courthouse.

Tesla Motors is an innovator in electric cars--and it's got a lot of lawsuits, too.

Earth2Techhas dug up a lawsuit filed by Magna on February 22, 2008 that alleges that the car company failed to pay Magna for transmission work it accomplished. The suit, filed in the Superior Court of San Mateo County, seeks $5.6 million in damages.

The Tesla Courtster Michael Kanellos/CNET Networks

This should be an interesting one to watch. Magna no doubt will try to bring a lot of details to light behind the delays that Tesla faced in bringing its Tesla Roadster to market. Tesla, for its part, will also likely highlight the problems it had with Magna's transmissions. Transmission problems were at the heart of the lawsuit.

Ultimately, Tesla swapped transmission suppliers and is working on one of its own. The company also replaced its CEO.

News of the suit follows on the heels of a suit filed by Tesla against Fisker Automotive. Tesla claims that Hendrik Fisker, founder of the eponymous auto company, unlawfully took trade secrets and other intellectual property while performing some design work for Tesla.

About the author

    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.


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