Tesla is suing the BBC’s “Top Gear” for libel and malicious falsehood. When Top Gear reviewed the Tesla Roadster, according to Tesla the episode contained lies and misinformation about the Roadster’s performance and reliability. Tesla decided to take legal action against the show after repeated attempts to contact the BBC, were ignored.
The episode actually aired in 2008, but according to Tesla there were major issues during the episode that depicted the Roadster as unreliable and not able to live up to its claimed performance.
Specifically, Top Gear misrepresented that:
1. The Roadster ran out of charge and had to be pushed into the Top Gear hangar by 4 men.
2. The Roadster’s true range is only 55 miles per charge (not 211).
3. One Roadster’s motor overheated and was completely immobilized as a result.
4. The other Roadster’s brakes were broken, rendering the car undriveable.
5. That neither of the two Roadsters provided to Top Gear was available for test driving due to these problems.
Tesla claims that the breakdowns were staged and wants the show to admit to the error and to stop airing the episode, which is available on the internet and for sale on Top Gear DVD’s.
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