Tesla Executives Squabbled Over Their Cars Like Customers

California's liberal millionaires have turned the Tesla Motors waiting list into a thing of wonder. It's thousands of dollars just to sign up. But company bigwigs fetishize their electric vehicle just as irrationally, a lawsuit reveals. Heartening.

After all, so much about Tesla is not what it appears. But a lawsuit just filed by Tesla co-founder Martin Eberhard, who says he was unjustly pushed out of the company, shows top company executives could be as jumpily obsessive about getting their hands on a company roadster as anyone else. That's a vote of confidence on the trendiness of the end product, if nothing else.

Even after he was shoved aside as CEO and left the company, Eberhard desperately wanted a promised Tesla Roadster. He was thwarted no fewer than three time according to Wired's Chuck Squatriglia, who took a deep dive into the lawsuit documents:

Eberhard claims he was to receive the first Roadster to roll off the assembly line, but [Chairman Elon] Musk allegedly insisted it was his. The suit says Eberhard agreed to take the second car - which he says would be worth far less as a collectible - and got the deal in writing, only to see Musk allegedly sell the car to a friend in February, 2008.

At about that time, Tesla allegedly told Eberhard his car was on its way but would have to undergo "endurance testing." Several months later, according to the suit, Eberhard learned an unnamed Tesla employee "had driven Eberhard's Roadster into the back of a truck, almost completely totaling the vehicle." The damage was so bad, the suit states, that the car "required the replacement of no fewer than 75 different parts."

(The crash had been previously reported.)