Elio Motors in northwest Louisiana has been fined over half a million dollars by the Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission who says the three-wheel car making company violated state law.
Commission spokesman Keith Marcotte told KEEL in Shreveport that vehicle makers or sellers in Louisiana have to have a manufacturers and dealers license."Or your distribution network would be licensed, that's how we protected everybody with the licenses and they actually were found that they were in violation, they did not have either of those."

Elio has yet to produce a vehicle, but they have a pre-purchase program which the commission says is breaking laws against car companies selling directly to consumers. Attorneys for Elio said they view their system as taking reservations for vehicles.

"Both refundable and nonrefundable, we felt that they needed to segregate the refundable deposits and keep them in a separate arrangement."

The $545,000 fine was handed down Monday. The production, which was supposed to take place in the former GM plant in Shreveport, has been delayed since 2013 due to lack of funding. Marcotte says he has no problem with Elio, but they need to follow the same rules as everyone else.

"We in north Louisiana would love to have somebody that employees a lot of people and brings economic development. They are a visionary in that way, they have capital constraints of a large nature."