Blog Post

Electric car startup Coda getting buried in lawsuits

Back in January we noted how following a trying year, electric car startup Coda Automotive was quietly dealing with a number of lawsuits over unpaid bills. These lawsuits followed layoffs and slow sales of the company’s first car on the market, a much delayed electric sedan. Well, a couple months later, Coda’s legal troubles have compounded with more lawsuits and the fate of Coda appears highly uncertain.

While Coda settled a couple of those billing disputes from earlier this year, two of those companies that settled have filed new lawsuits stating that Coda didn’t begin paying the agreed upon settlement fee. Auto supplier CDH Detroit said that in a settlement agreement with Coda in early March, Coda agreed to start paying CDH Detroit monthly installments of $28,186 for almost a year, resulting in a total bill of $338,234. In the new suit filed April 26, CDH Detroit said that Coda allegedly missed that first monthly payment (embedded below).

Coda all-electric sedan

Car engineering and development company RLE International (as well as an affiliate contract work company RTECH) said that Coda also settled with them and agreed to pay them $50K a month for a year and a half, but didn’t start paying the first monthly bill. The suit, dated April 25, alleged that Coda owes them $850,029.15 in total (embedded below).

In addition, events company Exhibit Works filed a suit on March 19, alleging that Coda owes them $242,265.27 (embedded below). A company called BET Services has filed a suit on April 24 alleging that Coda owes them $454,228 plus interest (embedded below). A billing and accounts receivables company called Corporate Billing filed a suit back on January 16, alleging Coda owes them $248,800 for an unpaid bill for auto parts (embedded below). And there’s at least two other pending suits in Los Angeles County Court.

Coda's electric sedan, rear shot

Finally, former Coda employee Tony Bulchak just filed a class action lawsuit against Coda on Monday. Since the case is so new, the online complaint isn’t available yet, but I’ll update this when it is. I would assume the class action is over the layoffs, but I’ll confirm that when the documents are online.

Like how Fisker Automotive is now unraveling, Coda Automotive seems to be coming apart at the seams as well. Media reports are starting to sound its death toll, too. How much longer til Coda files for bankruptcy?

CDH vs Coda

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Exhibit Works vs Coda

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BET vs Coda

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Corporate Billing vs Coda

[slideshare id=20272082&doc=corporatebillingvscoda-130430123036-phpapp01&type=d]

3 Responses to “Electric car startup Coda getting buried in lawsuits”

  1. themorphinetango

    I was interviewed by their staff about a year ago for a marketing position. Definitely one of the most uncomfortable, seedy settings I’ve ever been invited to. Not one window, the lobby completely devoid of ANY furniture, makeshift offices divided by stacks of chairs, and conference rooms labeled after torture devices. It was the crackhouse of corporate offices. All the managers were new hires with little to no experience, and everyone working there seemed either dense as a brick or highly judgmental, especially when asking a question. I felt a hundred eyes studying me, and doing their best to make me aware of their studying, as if they thought they were playing cat-and-mouse with a cop. The one thing I kept hearing over and over (which didn’t bode well with me) was the fact they were doing their best so Coda could be BOUGHT by someone else. That may be an option for any business, sure, but it should never be a end goal for a company. Just proves they just want to seem like a good investment, and not actually be one. Which is probably why the following events did not go well…

    When in the interrogation-style interview room, I was prodded with what I “already knew” about the company. When I figured this was the interviewer asking me to acknowledge I was aware of their [laughably obvious] efforts to buy social media followers, the interviewer began shouting and cursing before storming out. Completely unreal.

    Though disappointed in wasting my time, I felt relieved to discover so early that the company was just a house of cards. Imagine the torture of committing full time to them! In retrospect, the administrators were obviously chosen for their extreme obedience and lack of morality. Reading this only confirms my suspicions. :-)

  2. Scooper

    Riddle me this one – why did gigaom do green car death-watch the whole month of April and choose to ignore or simply be unaware of the birth of a new automotive architecture April 11 at the Henry Ford Museum (the unveiling of Edison2’s consumer automobile architecture)? I’m a bit confused and do not understand gigaom’s mission regarding this. Can anyone enlighten me?