Last time we broached the subject of Tesla libel suit against Top Gear for the program's 2008 review of Roadster, Top Gear producer Andy Wilman responded to Tesla's claims that the automotive show had fibbed about the Roadster's brakes not working properly, that its range was merely 55 miles and that an overheated electric motor immobilized the vehicle. Top Gear says that the 55-mile range claim came directly from Tesla engineers who studied data after TG's test. Wilman asserts that a blown fuse made brake pedal effort abnormal and that Tesla wouldn't let testing resume until the problem was rectified.

Enter Elon Musk.

Musk, the chief executive officer of Tesla, has responded to TG's claims by telling the Detroit News that Top Gear's depiction of the Roadster was "completely phony." Musk stated:
The fundamental thing with Top Gear is that the show was about as authentic as a Milli Vanilli concert, but the problem is most viewers don't know that. For European investors, every single one, except one, specifically asked us why our car broke down on Top Gear. It was (messed) up.
Musk argues that the whole test was scripted prior to filming and claims that the Roadster was never given a fair chance. While Top Gear hasn't apologized to Tesla, Wilman did offer this statement:
Our primary reasoning behind the verdict had nothing to do with how the Tesla performed; our conclusion was based mainly on the fact that it costs three times more than the petrol sports car upon which it's based. It takes a long time to recharge, so you can't use it as easily for the carefree motoring journeys that are a prerequisite of sports car driving. You can actually reach that conclusion without driving the car.
Musk wants the BBC to immediately stop airing TG's Roadster test or to add a disclaimer that reads, "we made this up." The BBC said in a statement sent to the Detroit News that it "stands by the program" and will "vigorously" defend its position.

[Source: Detroit News]

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