Daewoo Motor America Inc., the sales unit of defunct Daewoo Motor Co., is suing General Motors Corp. and Suzuki Motor Corp. to stop them from selling Daewoo vehicles in the U.S. under their own brands.
The request for a temporary restraining order, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles, claims that General Motors and Suzuki are violating a 1999 agreement in which the South Korean automaker gave Compton-based Daewoo Motor America exclusive U.S. distribution rights for Daewoo cars and trucks for 10 years.
Daewoo Motor America also is suing GM, Japan-based Suzuki and their joint venture, GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co., for unspecified damages.
GM, Suzuki and their partners acquired assets from Daewoo in 2002 for $1.17 billion, creating GM Daewoo. The company started shipping cars to the U.S. this month to be sold under the Suzuki and Chevrolet brands.
"General Motors believes this lawsuit is completely without merit," said spokesman Jerry Dubrowski. "Daewoo Motor America's financial difficulties stem from the bankruptcy of Daewoo Motor in South Korea and not from any actions of General Motors or GM Daewoo," he said.