• Apr 5th 2011 at 9:00AM
  • 6
Things are heating up considerably around the lawsuit filed last week by Tesla Motors against the BBC. For those unfamiliar with the situation, the suit claims "libel and malicious falsehood" on behalf of the beloved BBC series Top Gear. Tesla is taking issue with the way its all-electric Roadster was portrayed in a 2008 broadcast, in which sharp-tongued host Jeremy Clarkson took to the Top Gear test track in the EV sports car. Things started out well enough for JC and the "biblically quick" Roadster, but took a turn for the worse when the test car ran out of charge, a loaner Roadster overheated, and the first car had to be decommissioned due to issues with the brakes. See for yourself:

So that settles it...if you believe everything you see on TV (or downloaded from BitTorrent in the late 2000's, shame on you). Tesla's suit claims that all of the issues Jeremy encountered with their Roadster were falsified in order "to bolster a pre-judged, pre-determined and pre-scripted adverse verdict." In short, Tesla alleges that Top Gear faked the whole thing.

Under normal circumstances, the public might not be privy to the BBC's defense until after the formal court proceedings. Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman, however, took to the show's blog to break the silence:

"...[S]ince the other side are being quite noisy with their views on how we conduct ourselves, I just would like to point out one or two things to Top Gear viewers..."

Wilman goes on to deny the claims of defamation by explaining that the episode in question never explicitly stated that either test car had been immobilized, due either to lack of charge or overheating. While upon further examination this may be true, it appears that Tesla's issue is with Top Gear's intent to show that "in the real world, [the Roadster] absolutely doesn't work."
Whose side are you on?
Tesla Motors 124 (32.5%)
Top Gear 227 (59.6%)
I can't choose... 30 (7.9%)

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      The fact that right after they talked down about the car, they immediately started talking about hydrogen powered vehicles is enough to show their guilty.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Clarkson's last comment really stuck with me, "In the real world, (this car) doesn't seem to work." Is driving the way Jeremy did how "real people" drive? Additionally, his biggest critique of the car seems to be the range. How many people drive from London to Scotland everyday? Seriously, most people will drive less than 100 miles in a day, leaving plenty of voltage for a trip to the store. If you're going from London to Scotland, drive to the airport and fly.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not a very green idea is it? I have driven to Scotland, I drove up the A1, it runs all the way from London to Edingurgh and once you get past the "Black Cat" roundabout it is a lovely journey with some breathtaking scenery, it is also a journey that can easily be covered in a day but not in a Tesla, I could do it in my Ford Mondeo 2.0ltr TDCi though, on tank of diesel would get me there and half way back again, fly to Scotland, only if the only other choice was a Tesla or something just as useless like a G-Wizz.
          • 4 Years Ago
          You own a Mondeo, damn then you are a dumb ass
      • 4 Years Ago
      I support Top Gear, no contest, Tesla won't get a penny from Top gear as it is a BBC production, that means that it is made by the BBC using British TV Licence Fee payers money, everyone in the UK pays £147.00 ($300.00) a year to watch TV and all of that money goes to the BBC, if Tesla want to sue then they will be up against 60 million defendants, bring it on Tesla, you will not get a single penny, just accept that on this occasion your product let you down, it happens, it is just a fact of life, it isn't as if you build the Bugatti veyron is it?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I can't understand what is it with you Top Gear fans. If you check closely you could CLEARLY see that some Top Gear reviews are libel and malicious falsehood. Not only with Tesla but with to many other cars. FOR EXAMPLE Clarkson displays an open INFATUATION with Crappy FORD cars. which are cheap and bad cars, but Clarkson claims they are GREAT. Question is How much money is FORD paying Clarkson to broadcast his libel and malicious falsehood?
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