Michigan battery maker A123 Systems files for Chapter 11


DETROIT — Short of cash and hurting from weak sales of electric cars, battery maker A123 Systems Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday and quickly sold its automotive assets.

Auto-parts maker Johnson Controls Inc. will buy the company’s automotive business for $125 million.

The Chapter 11 filing is likely to spawn more criticism of the Obama Administration’s funding of alternative-energy companies. The lithium-ion battery maker received a $249 million grant from the Department of Energy in August, 2009, to help it build U.S. factories.