The Securities and Exchange Commission has asked Lordstown Motors for more information about allegations that the EV startup misled investors about its progress to date. Lordstown Motors, which is backed by General Motors, said Wednesday that it is cooperating with the inquiry and that its board of directors has created a special committee to review the claims.
The allegations came last Friday from short-selling firm Hindenburg Research, which disclosed along with the report that it had taken a short position in Lordstown Motors.
Hindenburg claimed in the report that some of the EV startup’s biggest preorders were made by companies that do not appear to have the money required to purchase big batches of Lordstown Motors’ electric pickup truck, which starts at around $50,000. Hindenburg also claimed that Lordstown Motors misled the public, investors, and the government about the progress it’s made so far on its prototype.
“We want to take a moment and acknowledge that we are aware of the short-seller’s report,” CEO Steve Burns said on the company’s inaugural investor call Wednesday, before disclosing the SEC inquiry and the internal review. “That is all we can say, and we cannot comment on this during the Q&A period following this call, or any follow up questions and conversations, until the special committee has finished its review.”
The SEC’s inquiry and the internal review aren’t slowing down Lordstown Motors, at least not yet. The startup said Wednesday that it’s accelerating development of a second vehicle: an electric van.