Several news organizations are reporting that the U.S. government-backed electric vehicle company Fisker Automotive is seeking counsel from a law firm that specializes in bankruptcy proceedings. The company produces luxury electric vehicles popular with celebrities such as Leonardo Di Caprio and Justin Bieber, and it received a $529 million loan from the Department of Energy. But ABC News draws comparisons between Fisker and solar manufacturer Solyndra (which famously filed for bankruptcy in 2011), claiming that while the firm has paid off its loan interest payments, it will struggle to meet a major principle payment due at the end of April.

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The government froze its loan payments to Fisker in May, 2012, after a slew of setbacks and equipment failures raised questions about the efficacy of spending US taxpayer money on the Danish-led venture. For one thing, critics wondered about the wisdom of the flashy Fisker Karma, which costs nearly $100,000. The loan agreement became subject to increased scrutiny by the Department of Energy, according to ABC.

In December the Wall Street Journal reported that Fisker board members had discussed the possibility of filing for bankruptcy, and last week Reuters reported that the company had entered into talks with bankruptcy lawyers.

“We are not offering any official comment on the speculation around bankruptcy at this stage,” Roger Ormisher, a spokesperson for the electric car company Fisker Automotive, told ABC News recently.

Instead, they insist that they are still hoping to find a strategic partner that keep the company afloat. If they can’t, this will be a serious embarrassment for the Obama administration.

Via ABC News