Is EV Start Up Coda Automotive Reaching End Of Days?

Are the days of California-based electric car start up Coda Automotive numbered? We hate to see any green technology company going through struggle, but recent items happening with this EV manufacturer suggest not so pretty of a future for it. Coda has just had a string of bad luck of late, and now it looks to be heading towards the cliff.

The Coda Sedan, which debuted back in March after almost two years of production, had already suffered a recall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in late August over improperly installed side-curtain airbags. Now the NHTSA recently released crash test ratings for the electric car, according to Autoblog. The results are not entirely promising – though the vehicle passed its rollover test, it scored very poorly in its frontal crash study with only two out of five stars. Not exactly something which will make the few in California considering buying one of these gain a lot of confidence from.

Coda Sedan crash test

Coda Sedan front crash test (image via NHTSA)

Even as Coda reels from the recall and crash test ratings, word has now come they’ve laid off 50 people, or around 15 percent of their 330 person workforce. EarthTechling partner Green Car Reports reached out to Coda for comments on these lay offs, and got back the following statement from the car company:

Coda has released approximately 50 employees or 15% of our workforce across all functions to streamline our operations and right-size the Company.  The Company is taking this action to better position our business going forward.  We remain committed to the continued development and distribution of our products. 

The quality and safety of our products is of paramount importance.  Coda vehicles meet all applicable U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and achieved an overall 4-star rating in National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) testing.

And, noted Plug-In Cars, which first broke the story on the lay offs, Coda looks to have sold less than 100 vehicles since they first went on sale. This came from an anonymous source speaking with the green car auto news website. When you factor in the recall, which impacted 78 vehicles at the time it was issued, it doesn’t spell good things for this Chinese-body imported EV in the eyes of the public.

As for Coda’s future, it remains unclear at this point. The $37,250 MSRP sedan, with select federal and individual state savings and credits, has a current price of $27,250. It makes it a not so cheap electric vehicle when you factor its competitors like the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i. The company has done some innovative deals to try and entice more buyers to it, but it remains unclear how successful these have been.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.