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A visual effects company has claimed in a lawsuit that Faraday Future owes it $US1.8 million for a graphic presentation that was designed to promote this month's launch of the automaker's first production vehicle.
It wasn't immediately clear if the company, The Mill Group, designed aspects of FF's presentation for the vehicle at this month's CES conference (you may remember The Mill for its Blackbird, a rig that can transform into any car). But the six-page complaint — which can be viewed below — is yet another blemish for the troubled start-up automaker, which claimed at CES that it's well-positioned for success and that construction at the site of its proposed Nevada factory should relaunch within the coming weeks.
Faraday Future said it doesn't comment "publicly" on litigation matters, nor did it comment privately, either. The Mill Group and its attorneys both declined further comment.
In August, the complaint says, Faraday contacted The Mill and asked the company to produce a graphic presentation "with virtual reality, augmented reality, and holographic components, to promote the January 2017 launch of a new electric vehicle deployed by Faraday."
Weeks later, The Mill delivered an estimate of $US1.8 million. Faraday agreed to pay the company in three separate sums, according to the complaint.
As stipulated in their agreement, the complaint continues, The Mill produced and provided Faraday the requested presentation, "with the understanding that Faraday would pay it a total of $US1,822,750 ($2,403,101) ..."
To date, according to the complaint, Faraday has only paid $US20,000.
"Faraday has repeatedly acknowledged that it accepts the sums owing to The Mill and its intention to pay," the complaint says. "However, despite repeated requests for payment and promises by Faraday to pay, funds have not been received. Instead, Faraday has only paid $US20,000 to the Mill, leaving a total outstanding balance in the amount of $US1,802,750.00 ($2,376,733)."
In the weeks since CES, Faraday has become entangled in rather trivial spats, including a trademark dispute over the word 'ZERO' as well as how many reservations for the FF 91 it has received. But the company emerged from the conference having unveiled a vehicle that, on paper, is a fantastically advanced vehicle. The company has been at the center of a flurry of reports over its financial viability, but it remains adamant that construction on its $US1 ($1) billion facility in Nevada will restart sometime in the coming weeks.
The complaint requests a judgment issued against Faraday for $US1.8 million, along with prejudgment interest on the principal sum.
Update: A source with knowledge of the situation told Jalopnik that The Mill Group produced a 3D car presentation to show off the car to "bigwigs or celebrity type people" and generate interest in the vehicle. The presentation — essentially a virtual tour of the car, according to the source — was slated for release prior to CES, but "without the money, they had to stop," the source said.
Editor's Note: We've updated the headline to reflect that it's not quite clear if the "vehicle debut" in question was the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.