By Tom Hals
WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) - Fisker Automotive Inc, the
maker of the sleek Karma plug-in hybrid, has alleged its former
battery supplier, bankrupt A123 Systems Inc, is hiding the true
amount it owes its creditors.
In a filing on Monday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in
Wilmington, Delaware, Fisker also said that A123 may be
overstating how much, and when, creditors would get money from
the former maker of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.
A123 filed for bankruptcy last year and most of its assets
were sold to Wanxiang Group, China's largest maker of auto
Republicans criticized the Obama administration for awarding
the company a $250 million grant to build factories in
Michigan. About half the grant money was never released.
A123 is currently seeking court permission for its
disclosure statement, which describes its plan for repaying its
creditors. If approved, the document will be sent to creditors
to help them decide if they will vote in favor of the repayment
Fisker said in its filing that the disclosure statement was
misleading because it did not fully disclose the size of A123's
The class that includes Fisker's claims totals just $123.8
million, according to A123. Yet Fisker said it was owed $139.9
million for breaches of warranties by A123 and because A123
rejected its supply agreement with Fisker. Other creditor claims
bring the total in Fisker's class to more than $212 million,
according to Fisker.
Fisker also said it intended to vigorously pursue its money,
and it said that A123 should be required to tell creditors that
they might not be repaid for years as a result.
In addition, Fisker said that A123 never fully disclosed how
its defective batteries contributed to its bankruptcy filing.
Fisker said A123's disclosure statement should say how many
defective batteries it sold, when it first became aware of the
defects and how its attempts to fix the problem led to its
Prior to the bankruptcy, Fisker purchased 2,700 batteries
from A123 that turned out to be defective. When A123 filed for
bankruptcy, 1,900 of those batteries had yet to be replaced,
according to Fisker's filing.
Gregg Galardi, an attorney at DLA Piper who signed Fisker's
fling on Monday, did not respond to requests for comment.
Jan Baker, an attorney at Latham & Watkins who represents
A123, also did not respond to requests for comment.
The case is A123 Systems Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Delaware, No. 12-12859.
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