WASHINGTON -- Volkswagen Group and Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley publicly encouraged South Korea's chemicals and electric vehicle battery maker LG Chem Ltd. and SK Innovation Co. to reach a settlement on LG's battery allegations that SK stole trade secrets.
The U.S. International Trade Commission on Wednesday sided with LG Chem, but permitted SK to import components for domestic production of lithium ion batteries for Ford's EV F-150 program for four years, and for Volkswagen of America's EV line for two years.
Volkswagen, in a statement released Friday, said it was an "unintended victim" in the dispute and would take "all necessary steps" to fulfill its commitment to building EVs at its plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.
"This will include requesting that any carve out for Volkswagen from the (ITC's) limited exclusion order be extended to at least four years to give an adequate transition period," the statement said. "Ultimately, however, it is our hope the two suppliers will settle this dispute outside of the courtroom so that U.S. workers and consumers will not bear the long-term negative impacts of this ruling."
Farley weighed into the discussion on Thursday.
"A voluntary settlement between these two suppliers is ultimately in the best interest of US manufacturers and workers," Farley wrote on Twitter, adding that "ITC ruling makes way for @Ford to bring to market our groundbreaking electric F-150."