It seems electric car manufacturer Tesla is having trouble keeping its nose clean these days - just a day after our report on Tesla suing Fisker Automotive for deliberately stealing designs, the electric-sports-car startup is now embroiled in another lawsuit and this time ‘round it’s playing the role of defendant.

Tesla is being sued by automotive components design company, Magna Powertrain. Tesla had originally contracted Magna to design and build 800 Dark Star transmissions in the first year, 1,500 in the second and 2,000 in the third. Tesla also contracted Magna to design and build 40,000 transmissions for its upcoming White Star design but all ties between the two companies have been cut.

Magna is now claiming Tesla failed to pay them for design and development work done on a two-speed transmission unit that will be used in the first batch of Tesla Roadsters. According to the lawsuit the bill is in excess of $5.6 million.

While Tesla's legal position is uncertain, the company has since abandoned the complicated dual-speed transmission, instead opting for a single-speed gearbox that will be built in-house. Tesla admits the frequent spec changes may turn some customers sour, but sources reveal that the company is willing to cancel any orders if customers aren't satisfied that they are getting what they were originally promised.

Tesla Roadster