The C-1 from Lit Motors sounds like the perfect commuting vehicle: a small and zippy gyroscopic motorcycle that runs on electricity, and is enclosed and climate-controlled like a car. The first models hit the road in 2014, but you can reserve one of the first ones now, before the dealerships even open, by contributing $500 that will serve as your deposit to the C-1 Design Team’s Kickstarter campaign. Only the company says that they aren’t behind the campaign. Who is? Update: the campaign is down. Yay!
Like all successful Kickstarter campaigns, this one has a slick video that tells the story of the product and how it could change your life. What’s odd about this video, though, is that the entire segment is from the Los Angeles Times.
A clip or two from the Times in a six-minute video? Fine. The whole thing? Something isn’t right here. Actually, a whole bunch of things aren’t right here.
For example, why does the design “dream team” of a company with millions of dollars in funding have a Yahoo e-mail address?
Why does the campaign page say that a $500 contribution is your “deposit” toward getting one of the very first C-1 models off the assembly line, when it takes a $10,000 deposit to reserve one of the first twenty?
Why is the campaign page mostly autobiographical information about the founder and other info gleaned from publicly available documents?
We contacted Lit Motors, and a representative confirmed that the company has nothing whatsoever to do with this campaign. Back when everyone assumed that the listing would be taken down right away, the company’s chief marketing officer assured fans on a forum, “THIS IS A SCAM!“ That was almost two weeks ago.
We contacted Kickstarter’s media relations team. No answer.
Lit Motors even tweeted at Kickstarter to get their attention. No answer.
Multiple C-1 enthusiasts, including the owner of an unofficial Lit Motors forum, have contacted Kickstarter to report the campaign. No answer.
We even wrote to that Yahoo address on the campaign page. No answer.
One forum poster says that a friend’s complaint to the account owner got them threatened with legal action. Keep in mind: legal action by the scammers.
Please keep in mind that we will have to take legal action against you if you try to damage or hurt our company and/or funding process.
C-1 Design Team
While we can’t get any answers out of either the account holder or Kickstarter, we’re going to recommend that you not put up any cash, no matter how cool those scale-model C-1s look.