Update: A123 systems filed for bankruptcy today, October 16, 2012.
Original: Yet another of the struggling green energy companies heavily-subsidized by the government received special praise from President Obama and his top officials.
"I am calling to congratuate A123 Systems on this tremendous milestone," President Obama said on a phone call broadcast during a 2010 press conference celebrating the company. "Thanks to the Recovery Act, you guys are the first American factory to start high-volume production of advanced vehicle batteries. I am looking forward to continuing to see the great work that you guys do in the years to come."
The company also faces a class action lawsuit for "with[holding] information about defective batteries from shareholders who bought stock between Feb. 28 and March 23, 2012," according to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which also discovered the video of President Obama praising the company. A123 estimates that it will cost $55 million to replace the defective parts.
Then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich., expected A123 to contribute to the creation of 63,000 jobs in the state.
Energy Secretary Steve Chu attended that Granholm-Obama press conference, and expressed his high hopes for the green company. "Hopefully the first 300 jobs is just the beginning [and] it'll go to another 300 and another 300, to thousands of jobs," he said at the time.
A123 laid off 125 employees earlier this year, despite receiving $390 million in state and federal subsidies, including $249.1 million through the Department of Energy.