The Justice Department is investigating Lordstown Motors, according to The Wall Street Journal. It’s unclear what the DOJ is examining, but the US Attorney’s office leading the investigation often handles fraud allegations. At the moment, Lordstown is also the subject of an SEC inquiry into claims the company made about pre-orders for its upcoming Endurance electric pickup truck. In both instances, the startup says it’s working with investigators.
“Lordstown Motors is committed to cooperating with any regulatory or governmental investigations and inquiries,” a spokesperson for the company told The Verge. “We look forward to closing this chapter so that our new leadership – and entire dedicated team – can focus solely on producing the first and best full-size all-electric pickup truck, the Lordstown Endurance.”
Lordstown was one of several EV startups that went public last year through what’s known as a special acquisitions company or SPAC. The maneuver helped the company raise $675 million, but it has been embattled ever since. Its problems started in March when Hindenburg Research published a report accusing the company of misleading investors about the demand for its Endurance truck. In a later SEC filing, the company warned it didn’t have enough money to start manufacturing its first EV. With today’s news, it also becomes the second high-profile electric vehicle startup to come under scrutiny from both the DOJ and SEC.