Tesla Losing Libel Case With Top Gear In UK High Court

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Tesla versus Top Gear

Tesla versus Top Gear

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A Tesla Roadster may not have really whirred to a halt in the 2008 episode of Top Gear - since at the center of a long, drawn out legal battle - but the maker's court case against the BBC programme is definitely running out of juice.

A ruling in favor of Top Gear has struck a blow to Tesla's libel battle against the car-themed entertainment show.

Tesla made claims that the 55 mile range attained by Jeremy Clarkson in the episode gives viewers a false impression of the car's actual 200-mile range. Tesla says that the episode has had "continuing impact" on its business thanks to the show being continually repeated on TV channels and through DVD sales.

According to The Guardian, Mr Justice Tugendhat ruled that "the words complained of are wholly incapable of conveying any meaning at all to the effect that the claimant [Tesla] misled anyone... there is a [great] contrast between the style of driving and the nature of the track as compared with the conditions on a public road."

Tesla has made several other claims against the show, including using pre-scripted footage of the Roadster grinding to a halt and characterizing a blown fuse as brake failure, as well as claims of overheating.

The rest of the case is still ongoing, but the BBC contests that the entire claim should be struck out.

Whether Top Gear misled viewers or not, Tesla is now on the back foot. We can't now see the rest of its claim standing up in court. Still, Top Gear might now find it difficult getting hold of a Tesla Model S to review when it arrives...

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