Bankrupt Lordstown Motors must face a trial over fellow EV firm Karma Automotive's claim that the Ohio-based automaker stole infotainment technology, Reuters reported Thursday.
Lordstown filed for bankruptcy in June and had asked U.S. bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath in Wilmington, Delaware, to approve bidding procedures that would allow the company to sell its assets by September, according to the report.
2021 Karma GS-6
Walrath instead ruled that the sale should not be expedited because a California court is weighing a lawsuit by Karma. Filed in 2020, the lawsuit alleges that Lordstown stole trade secrets and poached employees involved in the development of infotainment tech from California-based Karma.
The judge said Lordstown was not at risk of running out money before the sale of its assets or a verdict in the California case because it entered bankruptcy with over $130 million in cash and it owed only about $20 million to its top creditors, according to the report.
Lordstown was formed to acquire an ex-General Motors factory in its namesake town to build EVs, starting with a pickup truck called the Endurance. The company subsequently sold the factory to Foxconn, and then contracted with that company for assembly of Endurance pickups and future vehicle development. Production stalled this spring after a dispute with Foxconn over the release of additional funding to Lordstown.
Karma has built small numbers of cars based on the old Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid, initially badged as the Karma Revero. An updated version called the GS-6 launched in 2020, still using a plug-in hybrid powertrain like previous iterations. Karma also then promised a fully electric version called the GSe-6, but that never arrived.