The Tesla / Top Gear Dispute Rumbles On

Posted on Mar 31 2011 - 11:15pm by Richard Sharp

There are few things as exciting as a lawsuit between famous companies and one which might blow up sometime soon is between Tesla Motors and everyone’s favourite car show, Top Gear. The gist of the problem is that Tesla says that the BBC programme gave incorrect information about the Roadster car and even made up claims of a brakes failure.

The show was aired in 2008 and must have made for painful viewing for the makers of the electric sports car. First of all, the car that Jeremy Clarkson was driving seemed to lose all power and have to get pushed off the track. Clarkson then said that they could only get 55 miles out of the Roadster during the trial, something which is completely at odds with the Tesla claim of 200 miles.

To make matter even worse, the Top Gear presenter then said that the other Roadster they had been given for the trials couldn’t be used because of a brake failure, so the review ended there.

After the show was broadcast the car manufacturer reacted angrily and said that neither of the cars had gone below a 20% charge and that there had been no failures on the brakes of either of them.

The Beeb hit back by saying that what they had shown was simply an indication of what would happen if the car had run out of power. A spokesmen for the broadcaster pointed out that they never said that the battery had run down but rather that “if it does run out it’s not a quick job to charge it”.

It seemed as though that was the end of it, but Tesla has now stoked the embers of the dispute by asking for the offending review to be amended or deleted from the archives. The official word is that they want Top Gear to “stop rebroadcasting this malicious episode”.

Via: WSJ

About the Author

Richard Sharp is the founder of He loves technology, gadgets (comes with the territory) and social media. You'll find him writing features, attending events and playing with cool tech. Life's good.

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