On Saturday, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Alameda County in an effort to reopen its Fremont, California, car factory. Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to threaten to leave California altogether while the firm released a blog explaining these recent circumstances.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2020
"Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately. The unelected & ignorant “Interim Health Officer” of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!" said Musk in his tweet.
"Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA, added the entrepreneur."
In its lawsuit, Tesla declared that "the county is making rules that directly contradict and undermine the policy announced by the governor in his orders" and that its "orders should be declared void and without legal effect."
Amid the coronavirus crisis, Tesla closed its Fremont factory last March but was hoping to reopen Friday as California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans for businesses to begin opening again. However, Alameda county blocked that move, something Musk found unacceptable.
"I’m not messing around. Absurd & medically irrational behavior in violation of constitutional civil liberties, moreover by *unelected* county officials with no accountability, needs to stop," said Musk in another tweet.
On the other hand, Alameda County released a statement confirming they were working with Tesla on an appropriate opening time. "The team at Tesla has been responsive to our guidance and recommendations, and we look forward to coming to an agreement on an appropriate safety plan very soon," the county said.
In the meantime, Tesla released a statement where it explained its recent action and why it believes reopening the Fremont plan is the best option.
"Our restart plan is the result of months of careful planning and preparation. It was modeled after the comprehensive return to work plan we established at our Shanghai Gigafactory, which has seen smooth and healthy operations for the last three months," said the blog
The statement went on to claim that Tesla has worked with the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency but has seen no response from the County Public Health Officer assigned to its case.
As such, explains the blog, "the County’s position left us no choice but to take legal action to ensure that Tesla and its employees can get back to work. We filed a lawsuit on May 9 asking the court to invalidate the County Orders, to the extent the County claims they prevent Tesla from resuming operations. "