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Tesla withdraws Alameda County lawsuit as Fremont factory returns to normal operations

(Credit: Tesla)

With the Fremont Factory operating once more, American electric car maker Tesla has decided to formally withdraw its lawsuit against Alameda County, which it filed earlier this month over officials’ refusal to allow the electric car production facility to reopen. The lawsuit’s withdrawal appears to mark the end of Tesla and Alameda’s feud, which ended up involving numerous states and national officials. 

As noted in a Reuters report, the dismissal of Tesla’s lawsuits was granted on Wednesday. Filed on May 9, the suit sought injunctive and declaratory relief against Alameda County, due to officials’ decision to keep the Fremont Factory closed despite nearby counties such as Palo Alto allowing Tesla’s facilities to resume operations. The suit followed a set of tweets by Elon Musk, which involved the CEO stating that Tesla will be moving its headquarters and future projects to other states such as Nevada and Texas. 

During the same weekend as Elon Musk’s tweetstorm, Tesla published a blog post sharing its extensive Return to Work Playbook, which discusses a series of strategies that were based on the company’s anti-coronavirus initiatives in Gigafactory Shanghai. Tesla’s Shanghai plant was part of a government-mandated shutdown due to the virus, but it was able to gradually reopen and return to normal operations by following a series of stringent safety guidelines. 

These guidelines were adapted for the Fremont Factory, but according to the electric car maker in its blog post, the proposed safety features have not been acknowledged by Alameda County. Officials, on the other hand, noted that they were against the reopening of the Fremont Factory because Tesla failed to meet certain safety guidelines, though they did not specify which.  

Elon Musk eventually opted to resume operations at the electric vehicle production facility despite the lack of approval from the county. Amidst these, Tesla and Musk received support from numerous entities, from the Bay Area Council, the mayors of Fremont and Palo Alto, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, US President Donald Trump, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Officials from other states such as Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas also expressed their support for Tesla.

It did not take long before Alameda County acknowledged Tesla’s Return to Work Playbook. After the electric car maker adjusted some of its safety guidelines as per the county’s request, the Fremont Factory was allowed to reopen and gradually return to operations. Today, vehicle production is ongoing, and vehicles fresh from the factory are being transported on car carrier trucks. 

Ultimately, the drama that surrounded Tesla’s primary vehicle production facility in the United States may have seemed like noise for the electric vehicle community, but the fact that it was able to expedite the reopening of the Fremont plant goes a long way towards helping Tesla’s Q2 2020 results. The second quarter of 2020, after all, will be very challenging, considering that it holds the brunt of the coronavirus shutdown, which has affected the global market. 

Tesla withdraws Alameda County lawsuit as Fremont factory returns to normal operations
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