Tesla and the company's lawyers are nothing if not determined. After a judge smacked down the electric vehicle manufacturer's libel suit against the BBC and Top Gear for comments made about the range of the Tesla Roadster, the automaker rallied with a second, amended lawsuit. It didn't take long for the the same judge to nix the new case, too, saying the amendment was "not capable of being defamatory at all, or, if it is, it is not capable of being a sufficiently serious defamatory meaning to constitute a real and substantial tort."

That sound? It's the smack of the judicial backhand.

The judge went on to say drivers know a manufacturer's claim about range is dependent on driving conditions and habits.

The dustup, as you may recall, began when Top Gear put the Tesla Roadster through its paces on the show's test track. While Jeremy Clarkson lauded the car's acceleration, the segment claimed the vehicle ran out of juice after just 55 miles of abuse. That figure is far south of the 200 mile range Tesla claims for the vehicle. CEO Elon Musk called the show "completely phony" not long after the segment aired and brought out the legal guns. The rest, as they say, is history.


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  • 158 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 2 Years Ago
      Tesla has more problems on their hands than what Top Gear says about them. Like them selling $100k cars to save gas.
      Donald
      • 2 Years Ago
      The truth hurts. None of the so-called extended range electrics can hold up to real-world driving with any really useful range. Especially in areas and seasons that make use of the heater/ defogger/ demister or the a/c mandatory, and with headlights & stereo/ navigation on. I wish they did. Plus, the recharge time is atrocious. Not yet ready for prime time.
      fjraz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Having lived in CommieFornia and having been the victim of a junk lawsuit there, Tesla's behavior is typical of Californians. The laws there are written by lawyers, for lawyers, to keep lawyers in business and running to a lawyer to sue is every Californian's answer to everything. Here's to the British for telling it like it is!!
      Christopher K
      • 2 Years Ago
      During the show, the cast was pretty open and clear about how taxing the conditions were....
      booger
      • 2 Years Ago
      Coming from a lot of experience playing with RC cars, the 55 mile range of the Tesla on a track does not surprise me at all. If you run an RC car hard, the rapidly discharging battery pack gets hot. As it gets hot its efficiency drops like a rock. Range will be inversely proportional to rate of discharge. You might get the claimed 200 miles out of that car only if you drive slowly and don't try to have any fun with it. Traxxas Slash 4WD Li-Po FTW BTW. Tesla should spend more time and money revolutionizing battery technology instead of cars. The current level of that technology is not ready for daily use as a primary propulsion energy source in mass produced automobiles. It's extremely impractical and expensive not to mention environmentally damaging in the long term. At this point they are little more than novelties for rich folks. However the same was said about the very first automobile, so there is hope. Instead of the car they should be working on the batteries. That would put them in a very good position for everything else, and they could patent and license the tech to all of the other automakers and come out like a BOSS in the end. Hustle it up Tesla. Take your licks, stop enriching useless lawyers, pay the engineers instead.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @booger
        Tesla does sell their battery technology to Toyota and Daimler. For Toyota they make the RAV4 EV and for Daimler they make the Mercedes EV and the Smart EV. Not too many companies out there bringing money INTO the country. And having over 20,000 EV's being used daily says the technology is ready for everyday use.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          [blocked]
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          @booger You are being way too demanding for EV's to gain acceptability. An electric car will need to be better (more perceived value) than it's ICE equivalent for the mass market to make the transition. I expect it will happen in a big way when the EV's are priced the same as an ICE car, 150-200 mile range, same for same, size and comfort level. An electric car will never be a gas car but it has other conveniences and price savings that will make it appealing to the mass market.
      ken
      • 2 Years Ago
      Top gear is actually poking at electric cars' Achilles heel: after the "juice" went out, you have to walk till hours if not days later.
      lively wife
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wait, I watched that episode...I thought they were pretty gracious, after all, they DID say that this attempt was far better than the last by Tesla...Love BBC Top Gear!
      Believe It
      • 2 Years Ago
      Common sense: if you flog any car, (aka "spirited driving") you should not expect the range you would get from more from "sensible", (boring) driving. You play, you pay. Your money - your choice.
        HAT1701D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Believe It
        Hmm, the roadster is a sports car MADE for the driving enthusiast. It is not designed as a car for the boring driver anymore than a Lambo or a Ferrari. They set out to prove the electric automobile is a fully achievable goal by INTENTIONALLY designing a high performance machine. Design it to MEET the objectives OR exceed the objectives...not TRY TO MEET them. If they meant to design a car that could meet the demands under most circumstances and normal driving experiences (boring ) or rather, FAMILY / EVERDAY driving, perhaps they should have designed their family car FIRST. After all, you buy a sports car..... You sit in it - You get on it.
      Dale
      • 2 Years Ago
      at least they did not dispute the story about having an expensive brick if the battery goes completely dead which can happen even when plugged in?
      Kris
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why in the first place they even thought they have any chance to win this? I said it the first time I'll say it again: This was the stupidest possible move from Tesla. If they believed TopGear lied they should've prove them wrong publicly. Much better way to do PR than law suits.
      otucman
      • 2 Years Ago
      You know Tesla has a great product, but instead of suing..... why don't they have someone or another team test the car.......and make it public. Show us it can get 200 miles and still have juice to run......Just do it......
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