Electric-truck startup Lordstown Motors Corp. confirmed the Justice Department is probing its business, investigating matters related to its reverse merger deal last year and preorders for its forthcoming pickup truck, the Endurance.
In a regulatory filing Thursday, the company said it had been informed by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan of its investigation, which follows one initiated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The federal probe adds to the challenges facing the Ohio-based startup as it works to launch its first model, an all-electric pickup called the Endurance that executives have said will begin limited production in September.
The truck is critical to the company’s survival as its cash burn accelerates and it confronts higher-than-expected costs on everything from parts and equipment to having to expedite shipping of some components.
Lordstown Motors, which took over a former General Motors Co. factory in 2019 to build battery-powered trucks, is one of several new electric-vehicle startups that have captured the attention and backing of investors in the past year. Many of those upstart firms are now moving closer to putting out their first electric models, although some have confronted delays and other execution problems.