The lawsuit names Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, Governor Rick Snyder, and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. The lawsuit comes just a week after Michigan officials rejected Tesla's request for a new dealership license. Tesla, unlike other automakers, sells its electric vehicles directly to consumers through company-owned stores. Tesla's license application was denied in Michigan because state law requires a dealer to have an actual contract, which Tesla does not have.
Earlier this year in February, Tesla applied for a Class A dealership license, which is a standard new and used auto dealership license. The request for a dealership license was Tesla's first in Michigan. The application was unusual, though, as automakers don't typically ask for licenses. In normal circumstances, licenses are issued to a third-party dealer or a dealer network.
Tesla and Michigan have been in a multi-year battle over the automaker's desire to sell its electric cars directly to consumers. Michigan isn't the only state that has laws that prohibit the sales of vehicles directly to customers. The automaker is fighting similar laws in both Virginia and Utah.