Tesla CEO Elon Musk offered a flippant response to being sued for $162 million by JP Morgan Chase, threatening the nation’s biggest bank with a “one star review on Yelp.”
In the lawsuit, filed Nov. 15 in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, JPMorgan accused Musk’s electric car company Tesla of stiffing the bank on a trade that JPMorgan helped arrange in 2014.
In a statement, JPMorgan said, “We have provided Tesla multiple opportunities to fulfill its contractual obligations, so it is unfortunate that they have forced this issue into litigation.”
Musk struck a more joking tone.
“If JPM doesn’t withdraw their lawsuit, I will give them a one-star review on Yelp,” Musk said in response to requests for comment from The Wall Street Journal.
“This is my final warning!” he added.
Musk and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon have feuded behind the scenes for years, with the conflict only recently spilling into public view with the lawsuit, the Journal reported.
Conversations between the two companies have regularly upset executives from both companies, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The conflict between Tesla and JPMorgan may have led the bank to miss out on business with Tesla, which has become an increasingly important client on Wall Street as its stock price has soared in recent years.
JPMorgan worked on Tesla’s IPO in 2010 as well as several deals in the years that followed, but the bank was usually ranked behind rivals such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, according to the Journal.
In the past decade, JPMorgan has made about $15 million for advising Tesla and working with the electric car maker on deals while rival Goldman has made about $90 million in the same period, the report said.
But the bank hasn’t done any work with Tesla since 2016, according to public records collected by the Journal.
And in Musk’s personal capacity dealing with finances, he’s spurned JPMorgan, instead using Morgan Stanley, Goldman and Bank of America.
According to people familiar with the matter, JPMorgan’s consumer bank was hesitant to back Tesla early on because the bank questioned the long-term viability of electric vehicle batteries, the Journal reported.
But later, bank executives sought to strike an agreement with Musk in which Chase would become the primary lender to Tesla buyers at dealerships, according to the Journal.
Musk declined and now, JPMorgan struck a deal similar to the one they once sought from Tesla with rival electric truck maker Rivian, the report said.