(Bloomberg) -- Fisker Inc. pushed back against a new report from short seller Fuzzy Panda Research that claimed the electric-vehicle maker hasn’t disclosed limitations on its cash balance.

The vast majority of the $825 million in cash that Fisker reported at the end of the third quarter is tied up in undisclosed bank guarantees to protect Magna Steyr, the contractor who is actually building the vehicles, Fuzzy Panda said, citing unidentified former employees from both companies. The short seller estimated that at least $790 million is pledged to ensure Magna Steyr is paid for tooling, manufacturing costs and margins.

Fisker called the claims untrue, saying in a statement that it “does not have a bank guarantee with Magna.” Fisker, which said it had issued a cease-and-desist letter to the short seller, also rejected another allegation in the report that it doesn’t own the intellectual property for its Ocean SUV.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer Henrik Fisker told employees earlier that the report was “largely misleading.” In an internal email, he asked staffers not to engage with social media posts about the matter.

A spokesperson for Magna International Inc., the parent of Magna Steyr, declined to comment. 

The claims are part of a longer report published Thursday morning about Fisker, making the startup the latest target of short sellers who say young EV makers have overpromised on their way to becoming public companies. Fisker completed a reverse merger in 2020, and just last month Magna began making the first few electric SUVs for the startup.

Shares Down

Fisker’s shares fell 5.4% Thursday in New York. The stock is down about 53% this year, giving it a market valuation of $2.28 billion.

Fuzzy Panda has previously published reports about Electric Last Mile Solutions Inc., which filed for bankruptcy in June, and Workhorse Group Inc., which has struggled since losing its bid in February 2021 to make electric trucks for the US Postal Service.

Fuzzy Panda said it is short Fisker shares. In such transactions, investors borrow stock from shareholders and sell it, hoping to profit by repurchasing the securities later at a lower price and returning them to the holder.

In total, about 52.3 million shares of Fisker have been sold short, for a short-interest ratio of 9.7%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.