Karma Automotive decided to sue Lordstown Motors over what they allege is theft of technology.
It’s the latest drama in the electric vehicle industry, which has seen a spike in these kinds of lawsuits.
Most of these lawsuits have been related to Tesla.
Last year, Tesla initiated a lawsuit against Guangzhi Cao, a former Autopilot engineer who quit to join Xpeng’s autonomous driving team.
In the lawsuit, Tesla alleged that Xpeng stole its Autopilot source code.
Now Karma Automotive and Lordstown Motors are going at it.
The former is accusing the latter of steal intellectual property by poaching employees while they were working together (via Business Journal Daily):
“Karma Automotive LLC, based in Irvine, Calif., filed a civil complaint in the U.S. District Court Central District of California Oct. 30 that alleges Lordstown Motors deployed a “Trojan horse” scheme where it pretended to work with Karma on a proposed partnership while secretly planning to poach its employees and steal intellectual property.”
In short, Karma was working with Lordstown to develop the infotainment system for the Lordstown Endurance pickup truck.
However, Karma alleges that Lordstown only used the partnership as a “ruse” to steal their technology and poach employees.
Lordstown Motors denies the allegations:
“Lordstown Motors, however, refutes Karma’s claims as “fantasy.” According to court documents filed in response to the lawsuit, the company couldn’t implement any of Karma’s alleged private information because of hardware differences, while employees left Karma because the ultra luxury carmaker was downsizing its engineering department, not because they were “poached.” And, Lordstown Motors said it declined to purchase Karma’s systems because the price “was far too high, not because the fictitious ‘scheme’ Karma has concocted,” court papers say.”
As we previously reported, Karma is currently working to bring to market an all-electric version of its Revero luxury sedan while Lordstown is trying to build its Endurance electric pickup truck at the factory it acquired from GM in Ohio.
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