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Tesla Sues Top Gear For Libel Against All-Electric Roadster

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Tesla versus Top Gear

Tesla versus Top Gear



About two years ago BBC’s Top Gear aired a test drive of the then relatively new Tesla Roadster. While this was seen as a major boon for Tesla, the light shone on its all-electric sports car by the popular show was somewhat less than flattering. In fact, it was rather downbeat.

What makes the matter so hard to swallow for Tesla are facts, which the electric car company claims, are simply unfounded.

Tesla has since sent a lawsuit to Top Gear for libel and malicious falsehood against its Roadster.

The Californian startup claims that it had no other recourse, issuing a statement that it reluctantly took legal action after its repeated attempts to contact the makers of Top Gear and the BBC, over the course of months, were ignored.

According to Tesla, Top Gear’s on air review of its electric Roadster “contained lies and misinformation about the Roadster’s performance, behaviour and reliability”. In the particular episode, Tesla Roadsters are depicted as suffering several critical “breakdowns” during track driving. Host Jeremy Clarkson concludes the episode by saying that in the real world the Roadster "doesn’t seem to work"

Tesla claims that the breakdowns were staged, making most of Top Gear’s remarks about the Roadster untrue. Tesla also states that it can prove Top Gear’s tests were falsified due to the recordings of its cars’ onboard data-loggers.

In one instance, Clarkson states that Roadster would only be able to drive for around 55 miles on the Top Gear track, far short of the claimed 211 miles.

Tesla points out that its test cars on the day never ran out of battery power as simulated on the show, and that its Roadster has been certified under UN ECE R101, the EU regulation for measuring electric vehicle range, at 211 miles. All ECE R101 tests are witnessed and certified by a neutral third party approved by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, in Tesla's case, the Department of Road Transport--Netherlands. Though Tesla admits aggressive driving will reduce mileage, it claims that Top Gear’s assessment is not representative of real-world range.

Tesla now wants Top Gear to stop rebroadcasting the particular episode and to correct the record.

With a global audience of more than 350 million viewers, Tesla’s demands are completely understandable. In fact, even today, close to two years down the track, Tesla continues to field questions and explain what it claims are misconceptions created by the show.

Stay tuned for an update.

[Tesla]
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Comments (23)
  1. This should be fun to watch play-out, seconds-away, Round One....
     
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  2. I love TopGear but hope they correct the record on this one.
     
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  3. Well, its about time what took Tesla so long? I love Top Gear but it is purely entertainment, consumer reports they are not. And its not hard to notice that when the guys don't like a car, Jeremy in particular that the car is given a poor review. Sadly the problem is that too many people believe what they see on TV, if you really love cars like I do, you'd go to dealerships of the cars your interested in or interested in learning about, look at them, test drive them, and form your own opinion. Remember not all reviews are unbiased so you really can't take any one review seriously. I hope Tesla wins! But will Jeremy ever apologize? I guess we will just have to wait and see.
     
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  4. Following the 'Mexican' incident (where they stated a number a stereotypes about the Mexican people) they won't.
    In that case following a complaint by the Mexican ambassador they continued to work subtle Mexican references into every show after that.
    It at least cause the comments to be removed from the syndicated show.
     
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  5. hell yeah! go get 'em tesla
     
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  6. Well I can understand how this hurts Tesla's efforts to find more rich guys to buy their little toy. And I certainly don't have the data regarding supposed "breakdowns". But it is reasonable to assume that the car would only go 55 miles under race track conditions and that if you continue to drive the car after all the battery warnings, it will eventually shut down. I love to watch Top Gear but anyone who watches already knows that JC is basically obnoxious (but funny). After all, he has nothing good to say about the US or our cars or our people in many cases but I guess we all have to suck it up, huh?
     
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  7. Well I can understand how this hurts Tesla's efforts to find more rich guys to buy their little toy. And I certainly don't have the data regarding supposed "breakdowns". But it is reasonable to assume that the car would only go 55 miles under race track conditions and that if you continue to drive the car after all the battery warnings, it will eventually shut down. I love to watch Top Gear but anyone who watches already knows that JC is basically obnoxious (but funny). After all, he has nothing good to say about the US or our cars or our people in many cases but I guess we all have to suck it up, huh?
     
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  8. The Top Gear show is originally a BBC production and still suffers from all the bias and arrogance that state sponsored TV has. Unlike communist state tv the BBC still takes government funds but is separated from the government politically and therefore plays along on its own tune seemingly oblivious to the real world. This is Top Gear culture and the guys on it only like 3+ litre polluters that make loads of noise. They are dinosaurs, but have a large following. Nuff said!
     
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  9. My mother used to say, "Don't pick it, it'll never heal". Why wouldn't Tesla want this to just die a natural death, rather than to resurrect the bad PR? Elon's got an ego, that's for sure.
    I'm a pretty serious car person and I don't bother to watch Top Gear. BFD!
     
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  10. I would agree with Noel, Tesla should drop this, but Elon is an ego maniac. The early Teslas were not as "refined" as they are today. The cooling system ran most of the time and their on board instrumentation only seems to measure what is going into the motor. Bringing all this up in a law suit may bring up stuff Tesla does not want any one to see. BBC lawyers may be able to get a whole lot of confidential info from Tesla that they do not want to share. I know how Tesla brags about the 10M miles but that workds out to less than 7000 miles per vehicle. They have a long way to go to prove themselves inspite of Elon's mouth.
     
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  11. Tesla's complaint is TG said it would only do 55 miles flat out on the track (when it is certified to go 211 miles in normal driving)? Those 55 miles sound better than I would have expected under those conditions. And the batteries were never exhausted? Sounds as if they took proper care of the car: some types of rechargeable batteries are destroyed if they are fully discharge. Anything but extrapolation from a reported battery-low condition would be car abuse.
    Across the pond, truth is a defense against libel, dunno about England, though. In any case, they should beware the "Streisand effect."
     
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  12. Top Gear is largely rubbish. Entertaining for some people only.
     
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  13. Get over it, Tesla. If you'd get lucky the three top entertainers from Top Gear will take your little experiment through the motions one more time but the result will be the same:
    dissapointment.
    You are proud your toy can do 211 miles, that it is 'green' and that it is equiped with some fancy sounding techno but in the end it is just a silly little toy that will not be remembered in 10 years, but for the 5 minute Top Gear item. As a smart friend of mine puts it:
    Those that can't do bring suits
    Cry to your Uncle Sam to settle disputes
    Thought you'd tackle this with a little more tact
    But then again fudgepackers, I don't know Jack
     
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  14. i saw this episode of Top Gear, and I tentatively conclude that Elon Musk is a whiny bitchy little crybaby.
     
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  15. You mean the show that tests things by racing them around its track doesn't get the same mileage out of a charge as the standardized testing?
    Is that a shock to anyone? Did Tesla actually expect their car to get 211 miles around a test track while being driven by one of these guys?
    Most of their complaint sounds like they are feeling remorse for having given their car to the show without realizing what this show does to cars.
     
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  16. But it is reasonable to assume that the car would only go 55 miles under race track conditions and that if you continue to drive the car after all the battery warnings...
    Tesla says that their on car data logging shows that nothing failed and it didn't run out of battery.
    Top Gear claims the exact opposite.
    If the data logger is correct, Top Gear is a lying sack of ...
     
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  17. No Problem. Top Gear should just do another test. Get a Tesla, get the Stig (or Stig II) to drive it around the test track and see how far it goes.
    Anyone one want to bet that Tesla will supply a car? Maybe Jay Leno will loan them his.
     
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  18. I like Tesla very much!
     
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  19. Tesla is too hyped up. I'm glad they got a bad review. Let's be frank here. Only the elite can afford the product. How is this technology benefiting sustainability? Its' a huge battery pack pushing lots of current to the drive motor. It's not that complicated. Much how the leaf is not selling very well, the roadster will not either because you have no plan B to get you home in case you end up lost. If you have a lot of money, buy a volt. At least it won't leave you stranded. If you want to be entirely sustainable, push GM to produce a diesel extended range vehcicle. At least when prices really sky rocket, used cooking oil can be used in the engine (granted that all the impurities are filtered out and GM using fuel line compatible with cooking oils). Tesla is a joke in a world thats' looking for real solutions. Sorry Tesla but you need to think of a better product that we need not just a product to apease the wealthy.
     
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  20. Tesla is too hyped up. I'm glad they got a bad review. Let's be frank here. Only the elite can afford the product. How is this technology going to benefit mankind in a time when every resource we have should be utilized efficiently? Its' a huge battery pack pushing lots of current to the drive motor. It's not that complicated. Much how the leaf is not selling very well, the roadster will not either because you have no plan B to get the driver home in case the battery pack is depleted. If you have a lot of money, buy a Volt. At least it won't leave you stranded. If you want to be entirely sustainable, push Automakers to produce a diesel extended range vehcicle. At least when prices really sky rocket, used cooking oil can be used in the engine (granted that all the impurities are filtered out and that the fuel lines are compatible with cooking oils). Tesla is a joke in a world that's desperate for real solutions. Sorry Tesla but you need to think of a better product that WE NEED not just a product to apease the wealthy.
     
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  21. Tesla is too hyped up. I'm glad they got a bad review. Let's be frank here. Only the elite can afford the product. How is this technology benefiting sustainability? Its' a huge battery pack pushing lots of current to the drive motor. It's not that complicated. Much how the leaf is not selling very well, the roadster will not either because you have no plan B to get you home in case you end up lost. If you have a lot of money, buy a volt. At least it won't leave you stranded. If you want to be entirely sustainable, push GM to produce a diesel extended range vehcicle. At least when prices really sky rocket, used cooking oil can be used in the engine (granted that all the impurities are filtered out and GM using fuel line compatible with cooking oils). Tesla is a joke in a world thats' looking for real solutions. Sorry Tesla but you need to think of a better product that we need not just a product to apease the wealthy.
     
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  22. David Steakly you just made my entire year. They a bunch of pretentious little bitches that think (much like CARB) that they know what's best for the entire nation. Give me a break. Down with Elon!
     
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  23. Lawsuit went pretty well then, BBC issued a full apology and paid damages to Tes...

    Oh wait no they didn't.

    LoL
     
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