• Jun 11, 2009
The only thing surprising about Martin Eberhard's latest move is that it took so long to happen. Eberhard was co-founder of Tesla Motors along with Mark Tarpenning, and he was ousted from the company in November 2007 by then-chairman Elon Musk. Musk has never been one to hide his feelings about other people (or much of anything) – and comments he has made about Eberhard and his role in the company have clearly not gone over well.

To nobody's surprise, Eberhard has filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court in San Mateo against Musk and Tesla Motors. In the suit, Eberhard accuses Musk of slander and libel, along with breaching the contracts that he and the company had with Eberhard. At 146 pages, we haven't yet had time to digest the entire complaint (though we do find it interesting that our coverage is mentioned in the lawsuit), but we have a sneaking suspicion this one is going to get ugly. You can read the filing in PDF form by clicking here.

ABG reached out to Tesla for comment, and spokeswoman Rachel Konrad provided the following statement:
"This lawsuit is a fictionalized, inaccurate account of Tesla's early years -- it's twisted and wrong, and we welcome the opportunity to set the record straight. Incidentally, Tesla will also be filing counterclaims and in the process present an accurate account of the company's history."
More as it happens...

[Source: San Mateo California Superior Court]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good way to ruin a potentially great company. Greed rears it's ugly head again.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It would be a shame if this ends up killing Tesla.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The company was ruined 2 years ago.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope we rid the world of cheap Musks. cant stand the idiot.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I completely agree. I think a LOT of people do.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Revisionist history coming up
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's nice that Tesla is willing to give us "an accurate account of the company's history." Oh wait, Eberhard IS the company's history. Have fun with that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The only reason Eberhard waited this long was because Eberhard would not have gotten much from the then cash-strapped Tesla even if he won. Now, howevever, with the cash infusion from Daimler, Eberhard will be able to maximize the loot from the lawsuit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And you wonder why MB partnered with Tesla. I think it would have been better had MB partnered with Fisker somehow. Also, imagine how far Tesla would be had they not had so much internal bickering. From a personnel viewpoint, it must not be fun working at Tesla.
      • 5 Years Ago
      FINALLY. I was starting to this Musk had these guy's family locked in his basement or something.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I was thinking the same thing when I started remembering reading the recent tesla articles and their talks with Daimler. I just scanned through the official complaint and there are a whole bunch of letters, and articles ..definately if you are interested its worth the read.
        • 5 Years Ago
        the above was supposed to be under @fanboyoftruth's post
      • 5 Years Ago
      The biggest slap on the face is that the majority of the people think Musk is the guy that envision Tesla when he wasn't he was just the guy with the money willing to invest to make more money...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just read the 3 part ABG article, and from what I can gather Eberhard never really "got" the populist part of car making. Call Elon what you will, but he clearly gets what people will consider before they yay or nay the Tesla Roadster.

      In this case, it was the importance of performance stats to stat-obsessed gearheads with means. 0-60 faster than an Elise or slower than an Elise seems like nothing, but to a wealthy guy with 100k to burn it can make the world of difference.

      Eberhard probably should've done his research on transmission makers before committing so heavily in Magna. I'm guessing he could've gotten a lot farther in the company if he took initiative to consider all the possibilities - not just respond to Elon's "edicts".

      Really, he got burned by that experience to Magna, since he apparently pushed them so far.
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