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It’s On: Tesla Sues BBC’s Top Gear

Posted in News, Scandal, Tesla, Top Gear by Kurt Ernst | March 31st, 2011 | 7 Responses |

Just in case you’ve never seen the BBC television series Top Gear, I’ll summarize it for you: Jeremy Clarkson, the primary host and stand up comic, hates anything that’s battery powered, hybrid powered or diesel powered. He also hates anything from America and most things from Germany, yet he rarely finds fault with anything made in the United Kingdom. His love for Range Rover borders on the absurd, especially when he routinely slams American cars as being prone to electrical component failure. Mr. Pot, I do believe you’re calling Mr. Kettle black. It should come as no surprise, then, that Jeremy Clarkson panned the Tesla Roadster during a segment taped in 2009. After all, the car is built in America (based on a Lotus Elise platform) and powered by batteries, not gas.

Tesla has been after the BBC for months, trying to get them to pull the Top Gear episode from syndication without response. The California based automaker claims that Top Gear’s findings are both fraudulent and malicious, and yesterday filed suit against Top Gear and the BBC. Tesla contends that the events depicted in the show (such as a roadster running out of charge on the track, after just 55 miles) aren’t supported by the car’s on-board data loggers. In other words, Tesla claims that the review was scripted to meet an agenda, and was not conducted in an unbiased and impartial manner. Since customers continue to question Tesla about the Top Gear segment, it’s obvious that it’s had an impact on Tesla’s business and earnings.

Tesla isn’t seeking punitive or compensatory damages from the BBC, but simply wants the offending episode taken out of syndication. They’re also requesting that Top Gear broadcast a follow up and correction to set the record straight, but I can’t see that happening unless a court says, “make it so”.

Source: Motor Authority

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7 Responses

  1. ds440 says:

    I hope Tesla wins. As much as I enjoy Top Gear, and as much as I occasionally enjoy Clarkson’s wit…..I find his jingoistic drivel a bit nauseating. Especially when you consider the long, proud history England has of producing some of the most unreliable hunks of metal ever produced.

  2. atko says:

    You should probably re-watch the segment. It was hardly “panned” by top gear. I’d even say overall it was more positive then it was negative (not to say nothing negative was said).

    He praised the performance of the car, especially torque and straight line performance, but thought it was over priced and handled badly due to the low rolling resistance tires fitted rather than tires made to handle.

    I don’t know how inaccurate the 55 mile range is either, considering he wasn’t hypermiling it, rather, thrashing it around a track.

    That said, the longest a Tesla has been on a single charge, using hypermiling techniques, is 300miles. Is it so outrageous to think thrashing it around a track will reduce that figure?

    Thrash the most efficient petrol car around a test track and see how many mpg it does.

    • simmy says:

      exactly true referring atkos last comment about thrashing the most efficient car o the track
      they even did a segment where the race was between a prius and an m3(or m6 idk) where the bmw just had to keep up with the prius and still managed to get better gas mileage

    • The_Black_Stig says:

      I agree. Overall impression was positive.

  3. Mark Smith says:

    I saw the episode with the Tesla and, to be honest, it came off pretty well. The poked fun at it, but said that it drove pretty well. I really don’t know what they are complaining about.

  4. PFULMTL says:

    The Tesla Roadster needs to be cheaper…

  5. john beech says:

    when is tesla going to produce a self recharging vehicle?