Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk is once again voicing his dissatisfaction with shelter-in-place orders.
This time, he says his company is seeking legal recourse and to relocate its corporate headquarters. Musk tweeted Saturday that the electric auto-maker would “immediately” sue the California county that is home to its main manufacturing plant in the United States.
“The unelected & ignorant ‘Interim Health Officer’ of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!” Musk wrote in a series of replies.
That was followed up with a threat to move Tesla’s headquarters outside the state.
“Frankly, this is the final straw,” he replied. “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.”
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!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2020
Tesla’s lawsuit, filed Saturday evening in federal court in California’s Northern District, asks for a permanent injunction barring the county from enforcing its shelter-in-pace order. The company said it believed it is exempt because its operations fall within the definition of critical infrastructure.
It further alleges that the county “lacks statutory or other legal authority” to threaten jail time or significant fines for anyone who does not comply with the orders. Mr Musk added in a tweet: “I’m not messing around. Absurd & medically irrational behaviour in violation of constitutional civil liberties, moreover by *unelected* county officials with no accountability, needs to stop.”
Alameda County appeared to respond to that tweet Saturday with a statement attributed to public information manager Neetu Balram, who said officials have been negotiating with Tesla.
“This has been a collaborative, good faith effort to develop and implement a safety plan that allows for reopening while protecting the health and well-being of the thousands of employees who travel to and from work at Tesla’s factory,” she said.
“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,” Balram said.