Range anxiety hit New York Times reporter John M. Brode... Range anxiety hit New York Times reporter John M. Broder hard during his now-scrutinzed test drive of the Tesla S. (Photo courtesy Tesla).
Shares of Tesla Motors took a ride Monday after a weekend article in the New York Times claimed that its electric sedan, the Model S, ran out of power during an East Coast road trip and had to be towed to a recharging station. Shares recovered somewhat after Tesla's CEO and others questioned the story.

In a story published last weekend titled "Stalled Out on Tesla's Electric Highway," a Times reporter said a Model S loaned to him by the company failed to meet its promised range a number of times during a trip between Washington and Connecticut.

The reporter said he barely made it between Tesla's two new super-fast charging stations in Newark, Del., and Milford, Conn., which are 200 miles apart, even though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates the Model S's range to be 265 miles. Later the car began losing power more quickly than he expected after it was parked overnight - but not plugged in - in a cold garage. Eventually, the car ran out of juice and had to be towed to a charging station.

In a tweet Monday afternoon, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the article is "fake," and that electronic vehicle logs showed the driver took a "long detour" and didn't charge the car's battery to the maximum amount. Musk said the company is lining up other journalists to do the same drive.

Musk added that the company only collects trip data from customers who opt in, but always keeps track of media drives.

The Times stood by its reporter in a statement, saying he followed instructions given to him by multiple Tesla employees during the drive and didn't take any unreported detours. The Times also said the reporter was never told to plug the car in overnight in cold weather.

"Any suggestion that the account was 'fake' is, of course, flatly untrue," the newspaper said.

In a more detailed response posted Tuesday afternoon, John M. Broder said, "My account was not a fake. It happened just the way I described it." Broder's full response is here.

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