Tesla's original transmission maker sues for back payment

The drama surrounding the Tesla Roadster's transmission and the company's attempts to build a system that can transmit power from the motor to the wheels without breaking under the strain took another strange twist today, with the revelation the that first supplier Tesla contracted to design the part is suing the company for $5.6M. Magna Powertrain USA says Tesla hired it to develop a two-speed transmission in September 2006, and when things fell behind schedule, Tesla canceled the contract and walked away without paying. Saucy! Of course, problems with the proposed two-speed transmission are why Tesla plans to ship early production Roadsters with "temporary" one-speed units and swap them out later, but there's no word on where the two-speed versions are going to come from apart from Tesla saying "We need to have more control over our fate and manage the process in house." Sure, sure, just as long as we get one for "testing," okay?