An association representing former US dealers of Korea's Daewoo cars has filed suit against General Motors and Suzuki Motor, seeking to stop GM's Korean affiliate from selling cars in the United States, Reuters reported.

In a lawsuit filed in bankruptcy court in Los Angeles, Daewoo Motor America, the dealers' group, said it claimed that GM forced DMA's parent, Daewoo Motor Company, to breach its distribution agreement with DMA and cut off DMA's supply of cars, forcing it into bankruptcy in May 2002, the report said.

An American Suzuki spokeswoman told Reuters her company has the exclusive US sales and marketing rights on certain of the cars made by GM's affiliate.

"It appears that the timing of this lawsuit is intended to unfairly interfere with Suzuki's business, and Suzuki is going to take appropriate action," she reportedly said.

According to Reuters, DMA is currently trying to win court approval for a reorganisation plan that would allow it to emerge from bankruptcy as the US parts distributor and warranty administrator for cars sold in the US under the Daewoo brand.

Reuters noted that, earlier this month, GM Daewoo Automotive & Technology Co., formed by GM and some partners in 2002 with a majority stake in some assets of the old Daewoo Motor, began exporting cars to the US for sale under the Chevrolet and Suzuki brands.

"These and other forthcoming Daewoo models were originally to be distributed under the Daewoo brand in the US through DMA and its independent network of 500 dealers," the DMA's attorneys, the law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, said in a statement cited by Reuters.

The news agency said the attorneys are seeking a court order to block GM and its affiliates from importing, advertising or selling the cars pending a trial.