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Tesla Motors
chief Elon Musk has always taken pains to pitch how far his cars can go when sufficiently charged. The man himself is proving he can go quite a distance as well.

Sufficiently chafed by a review of the Tesla Model S in The New York Times that said the electric vehicle's single-charge range was far less than advertised, Musk called the February 8 article a "low-grade ethics violation" in a recent interview at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas, Reuters says.

Musk has had his say in the matter. Citing data logged from the reviewer's car that differed from his report, Musk called the review "false" and said it was "not in good faith." Following a spat between Musk and the Times, the Times' public editor subsequently said that there may have been some inaccuracies in the reporter's note-taking but defended his integrity. Musk has estimated the Times review cost Tesla as much as $100 million in sales.

But there was apparently another response, one Musk himself wrote, that never saw the light of day. Musk said he sent it to an editor at The New York Times, but it was not published. Musk said he might still publish what he wrote.

Currently, Tesla has reached its full production capacity of 400 Model S sedans a week, and Musk has said Tesla could have its first profitable quarter for the three months ending March 31.


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  • 22 Comments
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      If your calling out liars there is never enough said. The people of this country are too stupid to pay attention so you need to repeat it many many times. Broder lied. NYT supports and defends liars. The press in general lies about the EV industry (actually also about everything else too). There has not been one accurate story about EVs in the last 5 years, from a major NEWS paper. Now, you can say perhaps that they are just not technical, but that's likely just not true. I have personally corrected misconceptions put forward by reporters and their response is "so what".
        Dave
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        "Broder lied." There are three sides to every story. Broder's. Musk's. And the truth.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't think he has to say more. The general perception seems to be that NYT Broder messed up. I think overall it helped TSLA. Maybe even a lot. He could however say more about the hyperloop transport idea he said he would reveal long ago. That's one promise he could deliver on unlike Q1 profitability :)
      • 2 Years Ago
      With respect to the $100 million, I believe Elon was referring to market cap, not sales.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        The stock's already bounced back. The NYT article did have an effect on the stock but the Q4 report had a lot more to do with the price drop. I'd much rather see Elon spend time fighting the antiquated dealership laws than focusing on a silly NYT article that's already been dismissed by anyone that's mildly informed.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          My comment was only to clarify Danny's article. In the video, Elon states that his $100 million was not referring to lost sales, but rather to valuation. Personally, I love that he fights for his product.
      purrpullberra
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm not surprised to hear this. Elon needs outside motivation at times is my guess. And I agree with Grendal that this personality trait is part of what makes Elon as successful as he is. He seems to have no ability to suffer fools in any way. He wants to get all the facts out in the public. He just has to keep vitriol out of his statements which he's been very good at. All's well now so I don't expect to see this letter. I'd call that a problem if it happens (Elon releasing it himself). But he is only motivated to get the truth out there and to aggressively defend his company from gross misrepresentations. He should be energized enough to write responses to the NYT and it's no surprise that NYT didn't publish it. I'm still stunned by all the free publicity. Why this now? Maybe Elon is hoping to keep "riding the wave"? I'd see that as a problem too. But I expect this to be the last whimper in this imbroglio.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @purrpullberra
        @ purrpullberra I agree with you and Grenda, Elon Musk is certainly motivated to beat down any opposition to the truth about Tesla. The problem is, as Dave D wisely points out, it's the 'truth' according to 'St Elon' ! That's not to say he's wrong, but it does suggest that he's becoming obsessively intolerant of other interpretations or criticism. More alarming, l he's gathering a fanatical following of extremists (probably unintentionally) who are not motivated by Elon's use of new technology, but attracted by the prospect of persecuting perceived enemies. I admire Elon Musk's many remarkable achievements, and it would be sad to see Elon Musk follow a parallel with the life of Henry Ford 1.
          bluepongo1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @Marco LOL!! " obsessively" , "fanatical" , " extremists" from the one who posts essays on ABG, usually unintentionally projecting.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ purrpullberra "usually unintentionally projecting." I'm sure you meant to say something, but what it is, ain't exactly clear.
      JakeY
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think Musk should just let this story die. I think people have had enough of it and digging it back up again won't really do anything to help the company. Right now they need to focus on getting the cars out with as little problems as possible (and fixing any issues that come up).
      raktmn
      • 2 Years Ago
      From the original story: "Musk said that the only thing he regrets from the interaction with the New York Times over the publication’s negative review of Tesla’s Model S, was that he never posted his own rebuttal of the New York Times’ rebuttal. Musk says he wrote a response to the New York Times’ journalist, which noted that he thought that the writer had committed a “low-grade ethics violation” and sent it to the New York Times’ editor, but he never published it himself. Musk said he wanted to make it clear that he thought the writer had not “acted in good faith.” He also said he still might publish the response." I'm pretty sure the reason he did not publish his rebuttal was that the critical SEC papers were being released a day later, and he was smart enough to take the half-admittance of failure by the NYT as closure. I wouldn't mind being able to read the rebuttal. It would go well with some popcorn. But I'd rather just move on and be done with it than to re-litigate the whole sordid affair....
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd like for Elon to let it drop, but he won't. He still brings up Fisker, Top Gear, and any other thing he thinks is an attack. It's part of what drives him to do better, I think. Whether the attacks are real or not is questionable. I wasn't there and I don't personally feel the effects. I'd call the NYT debacle a wash. Tesla's stock is back to $39. and there was a lot of indirect advertising done because of all the news articles and TV spots. I can't imagine Tesla didn't gain as many reservations as they lost. And being in sales, if someone actually dropped their reservation because of the NYT article then they probably didn't really want the car to begin with.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tesla has more than a mileage issue. The fit and finish on the production vehicle would not be competitive with vehicles produced before the quality crisis in the 80's. Not to mention their questionable manufacturing control practices. I suppose if Elon continues to cycle in Quality Directors every other month or so because they question the Quality System, then Tesla will continue to struggle to deliver the level of quality that is demanded by consumers these days. Regardless of the EV rhetoric, Tesla is new to the body manufacturing business and has a long way to go to become even remotely competitive it the fit and finish game. Read the instructions for closing the front hood before you try it to reduce the risk of damaging it due to the effort necessary to get it to latch. Even at 400 cars per day, I don't think Elon will be able to sell the company.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Elon Musk is a great statesman ripe for the US Space Age of today. He has realized his dreams in exploiting the Internet through founding his Billion dollar company PayPal, in promoting sustainable energy production like through his company SOLAR CITY, his promotion of sustainable energy consumption like through his all electric car company TESLA and his vision to promote space travel through his company SPACEX and is making progress successfully by leaps and bounds. Elon Musk made his first fortune selling PayPal to eBay in 2002. Now NASA is using his SpaceX to resupply the International Space Station while shares of his Tesla electric car company gained 10% last year. Next up: SolarCity, run by Musk's cousin Lyndon Rive, wants to put solar panels on your home (except not for my home in Garland Texas USA because my local Utility company does not provide the appropriate solar rebates! Can anyone in SolarCity help?). SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at the House Appropriations Texas Published Mar 8 '13 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhVNOYz5ciw Space Exploration gets private with SpaceX Dragon Published Mar 5 '13 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCk8V3z8Cjo SpaceX Hatch Opening of CRS-2 Dragon on ISS Published Mar 4 '13 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlACnuHFPg0 SpaceX Elon Musk's view from Mission Control Published Feb 28 '13 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53gkLHvljxg SpaceX CEO Elon Musk - Europe's rocket has no chance Published Nov 20 '12 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on6pzefo4t8 SpaceX boldly looks to blast millions of people Mars Published May 3 '12 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svzXxuQIKlc SpaceX Next - Falcon Heavy Press Conference April 2011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtoADdSry6g&list=PL804F06E0DFC20878&index=4&feature=plpp_video A Pioneer in Space and On Earth http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/10/opinion/mccray-elon-musk/index.html CNN, June 11, 2012 SpaceX: Entrepreneur's race to space http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57438584/spacex-entrepreneurs-race-to-space/ CBS 60 Minutes, June 3, 2012 The Colbert Report: Elon Musk http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/341483/july-28-2010/elon-musk The Colbert Report, July 28, 2010 Elon Musk Profiled: Bloomberg Risk Takers: Video - Bloomberg Uploaded Jan 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTJt547--AM "Bloomberg Risk Takers" profiles Elon Musk, the entrepreneur who helped create PayPal, built America's first viable fully electric car company and started SpaceX ... National Geographic: Megafactories TESLA Model S (English) Uploaded Jan 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=VUgDcA1pZAM&feature=endscreen 2013 TESLA Model S - The quickest Sedan Built in America http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOdsTuaJEfc&list=PL2CC76D636F09E03D Elon Musk - Presentations An Evening with Elon Musk and Alison van Diggelen Uploaded Feb 2013http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHHwXUm3iIg The future of Energy & Transport Uploaded Nov 2012http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=p
      • 1 Year Ago
      While people are talking a lot about Musk and Tesla am waiting for the delivery of my model s and i will not hesitate to reserve my X if i have money, i have less than 1oo years to live on this planet and i cant punish my self by just looking at the amazing looking cars while i need it and have money to pay for it, beside am not stupid enough to work hard the entire life without at least enjoying the present technology of my choice waiting for the future technology which i might not even see because of the reviews, beside if i can only use my S on city drive and my Mclass on longer distances am still contributing something on saving the planet than none while siting on my comfortable dream car, if some thing else new comes, i will go for it and see for my self.
      Tysto
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Elon Musk regrets not saying more about NYT Model S review" Seriously? This is like something from The Onion.
      Ziv
      • 2 Years Ago
      Elon should just shut up. He is in the right but every whimper he makes to the press makes it sound like Broder was right.
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