Faraday Future is no stranger to drama. Now, a new lawsuit over alleged unpaid bills kicks the dramatics into high gear as the EV startup responds in everyone's favorite way -- on Twitter!
The Mill Group, a visual effects company, has filed a lawsuit against Faraday Future in the state of California for alleged breach of contract, according to documents obtained by Jalopnik. The lawsuit claims Faraday owes The Mill Group over $1.8 million in unpaid bills related to a visual presentation.
The suit alleges that Faraday approached The Mill Group and asked it to "prepare and provide a graphic presentation, with virtual reality, augmented reality, and holographic components, to promote the January 2017 launch of a new electric vehicle developed by Faraday."
It's unclear if this is related to Faraday's FF 91 flagship EV, but a source told Jalopnik that the presentation in question relates to a special debut for "bigwigs or celebrity type people" in order to build buzz. Jaguar Land Rover did a similar type of event at the when it debuted the to the media.unveiling of its
After reportedly agreeing to pay $1.82 million for the presentation, Faraday Future allegedly only coughed up $20,000. "...[d]espite repeated requests for payment and promises by Faraday to pay, funds have not been received," the complaint says.
The Mill Group did not immediately return a request for comment, but it declined comment to Jalopnik. Not 10 minutes after I sent my request, though, Faraday Future made a post on Twitter, appearing to claim that The Mill Group is, in fact, the negligent party:
Faraday Future did eventually send a full statement on the matter:
The Mill Group Inc. was brought in to Faraday Future to create Virtual Reality (VR) content for the FF 91 unveiling at CES. The Mill alleges that it is entitled to full payment for work that it performed. Faraday Future denies this contention, and looks forward to the the opportunity to present the facts supporting its position through the legal process.
Faraday Future prioritizes its strategic relationships with suppliers as a critical part of bringing our vision of future mobility to life. We are committed to fulfilling our financial obligations in a timely manner with all vendors, and by the same measure, will work to protect our business interests and company growth.
Grandiose vehicle unveils are extremely costly, with figures usually ranging between millions and tens of millions. When the BBC asked Faraday about its recent work stoppage on its Nevada assembly plant, its senior vice president of research and design appeared to claim that it stopped work on the plant in order to afford its CES presence.
Faraday has received its fair share of criticism since it announced its intention to enter the auto industry. It caught flak for receiving taxpayer subsidies for its $1 billion factory in Nevada. It's been reported that its main financier is in hot water for his own unpaid-bill problems with his own company, LeEco. Faraday Future has also been the subject of other lawsuits alleging unpaid bills. But it hasn't really responded to those lawsuits via Twitter, until now.
Update, January 25, 2017: Added Faraday Future comment.