On a sun-splattered morning in Washington, D.C., last month, a team of engineers from Li-Ion Motors Corp. posed for cameras holding a giant check for $2.5 million -- one of the biggest awards in the history of super-fuel-efficient cars. On that same day in San Mateo, Calif., an attorney for Li-Ion Motors had a less glamorous task. He was negotiating a settlement with a customer who said his electric car wouldn't start when it was delivered. The customer, Barrett Lyon, agreed to drop his suit for a $75,000 payment. Since then, he's found there is a catch. Li-Ion cannot finish paying the settlement because company officials are still waiting on the the real $2.5 million check from the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize.