The co-founder and former chief executive of Tesla Motors sued the company and its current CEO Elon Musk for libel, slander and breach of contract on Thursday as the company counters, saying the lawsuit is fictionalized and inaccurate.
A spokeswoman for Tesla , Rachel Konrad, said the lawsuit is twisted and wrong, adding the firm will also file counterclaims and in the process present an accurate account of the company's history, according to a statement to Autoblog.
Former CEO Martin Eberhard - who was ousted from Tesla in 2007 - claimed Musk endeavored to take ownership of the idea behind Tesla Motors, denigrating Eberhardâ€™s contributions and defaming him in various media outlets.
Eberhard also claims Musk set out to re-write history by falsely claiming that he was the founder or the creator of Tesla Motors. He also claims Musk accused him of being principally responsible for the Tesla Roadster's production delays and for Tesla Motors financial instability, according to the filing submitted on May 26 and made public on Wednesday.
The former CEO also complains that Tesla breached an agreement in which it will give him the second roadster of the production line - which he said is worth millions because of its historical value - but gave it to a friend of Musk instead. Shen he received another vehicle, it was damaged, Eberhard claims.
The 146-page lawsuit was submitted to the California Superior Court in San Mateo.
Tesla is an automaker of all electric vehicles and was founded in 2003. Musk became an investor of the firm in 2004 and ultimately took the CEO position after Eberhard was removed in 2007.
The company is the first in the U.S. to sell highway capable electric vehicles and is popular for its $100,000 all electric sport vehicle Roadster.