• 33
Tesla's libel suit against Top Gear for the show's 2008 review of Roadster is apparently about more than just some erroneous statements made regarding Tesla's electric Roadster. Myra Pasek, a London-based spokeswoman for the automaker, claims that Tesla is suing to defend the honor of electric vehicle technology. Pasek told Automotive News (sub. req.) that:
We're very concerned that electric vehicles are being judged not on their merits but on preconceived conclusions. This amounts to a misinformation campaign about whether electric cars work.
As you might recall, Top Gear's review of the Roadster concluded by claiming that, "In the real world, it doesn't seem to work" (watch it here). Pasek counters TG's assessment with this statement:
Tesla is the groundbreaker in the technology. Daimler and Toyota are looking to us. If our car doesn't work, nobody's does.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Awwww. Tesla's feelings are still hurt.

      Top Gear is an equal opportunity eviscerator of cars and cultures.

      Save your lawyer cash, Tesla. You'll need it to hire the auction companies to sell off what little assets you'll have in a couple years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Top Gear would have gotten away with silly jokes and insulting opinions, but deliberate lies that damage reputations are a whole nother subject. There is a big difference between jokes and libel, and Top Gear crossed that line.
        thranx
        • 3 Years Ago
        Apparently Toyota thinks otherwise.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Careful wording here ... remember that Leaf has Level-3 charging at up to 62Kw"

      But their level 2 charging is a pathetic 3.3kW. The difference between level 2 and level 3 is still relevant. Level 2 means you can have that charging in your home, level 3 typically means a off-board charger connected to a industrial power source. The availability of higher power level 2 is also much better than level 3 (see the RV charging article).

      http://green.autoblog.com/2011/04/15/new-electric-car-drivers-finding-a-home-at-rv-parks/
      • 3 Years Ago
      Top Gear has deliberately faked footage before, and "stacked the deck" against electric cars in previous segments. Look up the case where they sawed through the frame of a NEV with a blowtorch in advance, in order to stage a demonstration that it had a "weak frame". Right. The Roadster episode isn't the only one. Libel is about the right description; good luck to Tesla, as they have a solid case.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm with Tesla on this one!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Only for the first 55 miles.

        After that, you're dead on the road.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not dead on the road, dead on the track.

        They only got 55 miles out of the car under Jeremy's on-track "real world" flogging. Not saying that's great, but just pointing out that its not how you drive on the road.

        Incidentally, Jeremy's Ford GT only got 75 miles per tank on the road, and he ran TG's test car out of gas on the track too, but I didn't hear any thing from them about it not working in the real world...
        • 4 Years Ago
        John H. apparently believes the lies Top Gear told, where they pretended the Roadster ran out of juice after 55 miles and had to be pushed, when in fact it didn't - Tesla reps were able to drive it away without recharging, and the car data log proved it still had a quarter charge.

        The fact that some people believed the lie is the reason why Tesla is seeking a correction from Top Gear, the refusal by Top Gear to come clean and confess is the reason why the lawsuit is necessary.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I thought the suit was because Top Gear did not run the Tesla out of juice, but pretended that they did.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So it's Tesla the defender of the faith now? Martyrdom is so unbecoming for a car company.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't know why Elon Musk takes dissenting opinions personally, but it's almost as if anyone who disagrees with him or criticizes Tesla in any way is slandering him and is fair game for a lawsuit. Meanwhile, he publically trashes competitors' products with impunity.

      What I took away from the episode is not that the car doesn't physically work, it's that the concept doesn't work. Yes, not many gasoline cars will do more than 55 miles under those conditions but those cars can be refuelled in a matter of minutes, whereas the Roadster needs no less than 8 hours using the given setup.

      Let's face it, few or none of the 100 people that buy Roadsters every month were swayed by this piece. It's a novelty, it's not like people are cross-shopping this with a 911.
        thranx
        • 3 Years Ago
        Certainly the Tesla is an expensive novelty, but that's not why Musk is concerned. The forthcoming model S sedan is a much bigger deal, and in filing this suit he's proactively defending its prospects.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Tesla’s libel suit against Top Gear for the show’s 2008 review of Roadster is apparently about more than just some erroneous statements made regarding Tesla‘s electric Roadster. Myra Pasek, a London-based spokeswoman for the automaker, claims that Tesla is suing to defend the honor of electric vehicle technology. Pasek told Automotive News. www.minneapolislimousineusa.com
      • 4 Years Ago
      Agree with them too. If something like the Roadster with industry leading (and still industry leading after 3 years!) range/capacity/performance/level-2 charging speed "doesn't work," it's not going to bode well for the image of other EVs.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You show them big T!
      I'm actually very impressed with Tesla and I'm liking it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Again, if Tesla had gone with Level 3 charging from the outset, or at least retrofit option, there would be no argument about whether "it works in real world".
        • 4 Years Ago
        That wouldn't have changed the Top Gear pre-scripted "test" or their pre-scripted "it doesn't work". Even with Level 3 charging, Top Gear would still have lied about the range and lied about running out of power. The Top Gear script would have ignored the Level 3 charging and pointed out how long it takes to charge on a standard British 13 amp wall socket, which is nowhere near the 70 amp Level 2 charging the Tesla is capable of.
        • 4 Years Ago
        >> (at 16.8kW still the highest power Level-2 charger in any production EV today),

        Careful wording here ... remember that Leaf has Level-3 charging at up to 62Kw
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Careful wording here ... remember that Leaf has Level-3 charging at up to 62Kw"

        But their level 2 charging is a pathetic 3.3kW. The difference between level 2 and level 3 is still relevant. Level 2 means you can have that charging in your home, level 3 typically means a off-board charger connected to a industrial power source. The availability of higher power level 2 is also much better than level 3 (see the RV charging article).

        http://green.autoblog.com/2011/04/15/new-electric-car-drivers-finding-a-home-at-rv-parks/
        • 4 Years Ago
        Nope. They would have still gone with script and used the slowest charging available just to make it sound as slow as possible. Remember, they knew Tesla had a high power charger that can charge full in 3-4 hours (at 16.8kW still the highest power Level-2 charger in any production EV today), but they still followed the script and focused on the slowest charging.
      Rickey
      • 3 Years Ago
      Electric cars are the future and gasoline powered vehicles are the past. In 25 years, the only gasoline powered vehicles will be in Amish styled gearhead communities.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Tesla needs to lighten up. Pissing off fans of the worlds #1 TV show probably isn't good for a car company.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Don't be pissed, be awaken and don't believe everything you see on TV.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Just hormones at work. Tesla pissing away thousands of investment dollars to massage their egos. Poor management.

        Everyone knows that Top Gear is just a bunch of morons anyway. Purely entertainment.
          • 3 Years Ago
          Trouble is, Sean, that not everyone knows that Top Gear is scripted entertainment with pre-staged results. Well-informed people know, but not everyone does, and frankly if the show came with a "THIS IS NOT A REAL CAR SHOW, THIS IS FICTION" disclaimer it would help.
    • Load More Comments