Tesla sues Fisker of giving its hybrid sedan substandard design

It’s the war of the hybrids! Tesla Motors has sued the owner of Fisker Coachbuild, after Fisker, who designed the body and interior of Tesla’s four-door electric-hybrid sedan, announced plans for the Karma which is seen as a competing vehicle.

Filed on Monday in San Mateo Superior Court in California, the lawsuit accuses Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler of fraud and breach of contract during their year-long collaboration in 2007 to design a Tesla Sedan called the WhiteStar.

Tesla says that it paid Fisker almost $800,000 and gave him full access to its trade secrets, business plans and engineering data developed during production of the Tesla Roadster. Tesla says the Fisker purposely gave the Tesla sedan a ‘substandard’ design resulting in a release delay to 2010. Fisker is ready to hit the market next year with tits Karma hybrid four-door electric sedan.

“What he did is outrageous,” said Adam Belsky of Gross Belsky & Alonso, who represents Tesla. “Clearly now in retrospect, Fisker had a strong motivation not to provide his best work for them.”

Fisker Karma Gallery:

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Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)