NEW YORK (Reuters) – Lawyers for Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk will argue on Thursday that he did not violate a fraud settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and should not be held in contempt, the latest twist in a high-profile battle between the billionaire and the government.

Musk’s fight with the SEC, to play out in a Manhattan federal court hearing, has raised investor worries that it could lead to restrictions on his activities or even his removal from Tesla, while distracting him at a pivotal point in the electric car maker’s expansion.

Tesla, which built its reputation on luxury cars, has faced several production challenges with its Model 3 sedan, which it is counting on to reach the mass market,