A prominent car designer is seeking $100 million in damages after alleging that his former employer attempted to prevent the debut of his new car.
Henrik Fisker filed the lawsuit in California and claimed that British luxury automaker Aston Martin threatened legal action if he introduced his new Force 1 sports car at the Detroit auto show next week.
Fisker worked for Aston Martin until departing to start Fisker Automotive. He left his namesake plug-in hybrid company in 2013 and the company declared bankruptcy later that year.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Aston Martin representatives sent Fisker a letter following the release of a sketch of the Force 1. The letter argued that the design was similar to an Aston Martin vehicle and warned that the company would "not hesitate to protect its valuable rights."
Fisker's attorney, Jonathan Michaels, disputed those claims.
"Aston Martin is trying to intimidate me to prop up their own flailing company and to mask their financial and product deficiencies," Fisker said of the new filing.
Aston Martin officials said that Fisker's lawsuit was without merit.
Production of the Force 1 is slated to begin in the spring, but it remains unclear who will manufacture it. Fisker previously indicated that he is considering forming another new company.
Fisker Automotive, meanwhile, signed a lease for a factory in Southern California last year and indicated that new plug-in hybrids could go on sale as early as mid-2016.