Tesla wasn't happy with the BBC show criticizing its Roadster car, and it has filed a lawsuit against the show's creator s for libel and malicious falsehood.
In a 2009 episode of the popular BBC show about cars, the people behind the show tested Tesla's Roadster car. The electric car was seen suffering several breakdowns during track driving. The host of the show concluded during the segment that In the real world, it doesn't seem to work.
Tesla says it originally took the insults in good stride when it was still a startup company, however as it has become more established, management is dismayed that the episode is still on the air. It says due to the show's immense popularity--approximately 350 million viewers worldwide--the Tesla Roadster is considered by many to be a failure.
The programme's lies are repeatedly and consistently re-broadcast to hundreds of millions of viewers on BBC channels and web sites, on other TV channels via syndication; the show is available on the Internet, and is for sale on DVD around the world, said Ricardo Reyes, vice president of communications for Tesla in a blog post. Today, we continue to field questions and explain the serious misconceptions created by the show. Many of us have heard: 'I know this car, the one that broke down Top Gear.'
Tesla disputes Top Gear's notion that the Roadster's true range is only 55 miles per charge. It says the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe measured the Roadster's range at 211 miles. Tesla also charges Top Gear producers lied when they showed the Roadster running out of charge. It says because the Roadster records basic operating information, that particular Roadster had never been charged more than about 25 percent.
The company disputes a number of other things, including charges that the Roadster's brakes broke. It says the lawsuit isn't for money, but rather to stop Top Gear's disinformation campaign and provide the truth. The company said it tried reaching out to Top Gear several times, but never heard back from them.
Top Gear scripted how the show would end before they ever got into the car. Meanwhile, the show continues to seriously misinform its fans, Reyes said.
A spokesperson for Top Gear said the BBC stands by the show and will defend against the libel claim.