A month from the make-or-break debut of its supposed production car at CES in Las Vegas, all is far from well at Chinese-backed electric car startup Faraday Future. Bills lie unpaid to the tune of more than $10 million, according to a lawsuit filed against the nascent company by a supplier.
The lawsuit comes from Futuris Automotive, a seating company, according to a copy of the suit obtained by Buzzfeed News today as part of an in-depth story on the company’s finances. The lawsuit says Futuris is suing Faraday Future specifically for breach of contract—FF agreed that it would pay all of its bills within 30 days of the invoice, and many of those bills have run on past that period.
A full $7 million of the $10 million total is over 30 days late, says Futuris. And another lawsuit alleges FF missed $104,950.50 in rent payments for a warehouse, Buzzfeed News reported.
The Futuris lawsuit said that company and FF began a business relationship in 2015, but by summer of 2016 FF “became delinquent in its payments on the amounts owed to Futuris” for services, parts and tooling. The lawsuit also said an FF manager claims the company was waiting on payments from China to pay what was owed.
The suit corroborates what additional documents and sources have indicated to Jalopnik. The issue of overdue payments has gone back as far as June of this year for Faraday Future, though this went from internal to external problems over the fall, when business partners with FF started to grow fed up.
FF, according to sources close to the situation, fed their suppliers and business partners with promises that money wasn’t available, only that it was tied up in China and would be here soon.
This news became public first with AECOM, the construction company building Faraday Future’s billion-dollar factory in Nevada. In October, AECOM announced that Faraday Future was $21 million behind in payments and by November we were able to report that work had stopped on the site itself.
According to a source close to the situation, suppliers also have stopped working on Faraday Future’s projects, and this lawsuit is the first public indication that there is real trouble behind FF’s urgent push towards CES.
After considerable hype in 2015, FF unveiled a rocket-like concept car to much ridicule at CES this year. Since then the company has released teasers promising an actual electric and autonomous car, but has been in the news more and more for its financial troubles, leading many to doubt whether the company can deliver on its promises at all.
FF says it will show its full production car at CES in early January, but without its factory and without its suppliers, it’s unclear how much of a genuine functioning car we will see, or how much will be smoke and mirrors to disguise an unfinished product.
[Update: According to Los Angeles County Superior Court records, (search for case number BC643406 here) the Futuris lawsuit was dismissed on Wednesday, before this story or Buzzfeed’s went live. The reasons for this are unknown, and a lawyer for Futuris declined to comment.]