By on February 23, 2012

Not a good day at Tesla: As if it’s not enough that the blogosphere is aflutter with bricked roadsters and unauthorized GPS tracking, on top of it we have fresh news from England that Tesla’s suit against Top Gear has been  thrown out.

In 2008, Top Gear had said that the Tesla Roadster would only get 55 miles instead the 200 miles Tesla had specified. To underscore that point, a Tesla Roadster was pushed into a garage.

Tesla brought suit for libel and malicious falsehood. Last October, British Justice Tugendhat disallowed the libel claim and asked that the malicious falsehood claim should be amended if it were to be allowed to proceed.

Tesla’s lawyers handed in an amendment. Justice Tugendhat read it and ruled today that Tesla’s second attempt to formulate their malicious falsehood case on damage was so “vague” and so “gravely deficient” that “it is impossible to say that it has a real prospect of success or is in respect of a real and substantial tort.”

Which, to use the term du jour, bricked the lawsuit. The incriminated video has been “removed by the user.”

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

20 Comments on “Judge Bricks Tesla’s Lawsuit Against Top Gear...”


  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    Tesla set up the hurdles, they decided how high they could jump.
    Instead of clearing them, they have been crawling under them.
    It is high time for them to stop with the excuses and be honest about what they can, and cannot do.

    They got our tax money to create new US jobs. We got bumpkus.
    They got our tax money to create a new viable car. We got bumpkus.

    Sorry if someone somewhere points that out. But you guys are not delivering what you promised.

    • 0 avatar
      FJ60LandCruiser

      You’re just too stupid and ignorant to realize the potential of green cars and alternative energy sources, which has been relentlessly undermined by racist right wing conspirators such as yourself.

      Clearly, the problem here is that we haven’t driven up the domestic costs of fuel enough, given enough tax breaks to buyers of electric cars, and not given enough of free money/government stimulus to manufacturers of these technologically wondrous vehicles which run on magical electricity that has zero environmental impact whatsoever.

      If only we Americans weren’t so stupid and blind, electric cars would be in EVERY garage.

      I suggest Tesla gets 1 billion in government stimulus spending to create 3,000 more green jobs.

      • 0 avatar
        pfingst

        At $333,333 per job, that’s a better return than the government would usually get.

        Remember when 1 billion dollars was a lot of money? It wasn’t that long ago.

      • 0 avatar
        tallnikita

        Crack is a terrible thing to waste. Share, please.

      • 0 avatar
        200k-min

        WTF?!? Tesla said their vehicle would go 200 miles per charge. It didn’t, so who is undermining who???

        Green cars are fine and I acutally support European style fuel taxes to fund decent mass transit and urban rail in the USA. It would also have another huge benefit in getting people out of land yacht trucks and SUV’s. That said, the TESLA is a failure. For one it’s obscene expensive. How can Nissan make an all electric that is affordable (relatively speaking) and Tesla makes toys for the super rich? I don’t want my tax money going to that. Besides, Toyota has a proven green car system call the gas-electric hybrid. Want to buy domestic, get the same setup in a FORD. Tesla is a boondoggle that hurts the American economy, plain and simple.

        And as for being GREEN…if we all were to drive electrics all we would be doing is outsourcing pollution from our tailpipes to the smokestacks at the power plant. If you want to truly be GREEN, walk!

      • 0 avatar
        SuperACG

        *”You’re just too stupid and ignorant to realize the potential of green cars and alternative energy sources, which has been relentlessly undermined by racist right wing conspirators such as yourself.*”

        Wow, this coming from a guy named “FJ60…” How “green” is your SUV? DO you drive it in a “green” manner?

        Yes, I own a 4×4 SUV, and do my best to hypermile on the highway, and do take it on designated trails, while helping to maintain brush overgrowth and removing trash.

        With that known, I am also a “right wing conservative” doing his best to conserve resources, and do not believe electric cars are the correct way to do so. Being stupid and racist has othing to do with it. In my mind, the “elitist liberals” who think they are so smart and know every solution have to insult anyone who does not agree with them. Perhaps you should sell your gas-guzzling 4×4 to conform with your peers…

        *”Clearly, the problem here is that we haven’t driven up the domestic costs of fuel enough, given enough tax breaks to buyers of electric cars, and not given enough of free money/government stimulus to manufacturers of these technologically wondrous vehicles which run on magical electricity that has zero environmental impact whatsoever.”*

        Again, the “privileged liberal elite” who would have no problem affording $200 to fill the tank in their FJ-60. Tax break on a toy for the rich? Stimulus for projects that go nowhere? You have too much emotion invested in your beliefs in electricity. NO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT? How much coal is burned to generate power? How many ecosystems are severely altered from damming? How much land is rendered unusable after harvesting minerals for battery production? What happens to said batteries when they become bricks?

      • 0 avatar
        EEGeek

        Umm… ACG I think you might have missed FJ60′s sarcasm. I’m not sure how, as it was dripping all over his post and likely down the page onto others. But I hope you feel better after a good rant.

      • 0 avatar
        SuperACG

        It’s better be sarcasm! Living in Southern California, I’m surrounded by Liberal Elites! I also haven’t been on this site for a week, so I’m wading through all the postings…

        Yes, I had a good rant, only wish it was on an actual Elitist…

  • avatar
    Lokki

    Tesla should just be darn glad that Jeremy didn’t manage to run the battery entirely dead.

  • avatar
    mitchw

    I don’t want to hear Tesla crying if they get sued over their bricking battery either.

  • avatar
    NotFast

    Judge Tugendhat? Insert bad joke here.

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    Dear Elon,

    PLEASE give up on this electric car BS and concentrate more on the Rocket business. You’re doing some pretty kickass work over there.

  • avatar
    tallnikita

    does the guy in the video realize that his body language exudes lack of credibility?

  • avatar
    serothis

    Wait, didn’t the brake fuse burn out on one of the cars tesla provided and then the engine overheating in the other sending it into limp mode? Isn’t that the exact definition of “breaking down”? To add a cherry to the cake, Musk even mentions that “investors kept coming to him asking why their car broke down”, not ran out of electricity, which tesla claimed top gear falsely implied. breaking down =/= out of juice.

    Also asking a show to pull an episode, while technically a simple procedure, is pretty big deal. Certainly not the easy and forgettable action Musk is implying.

    I have no sympathy for tesla.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    And thrown out rightly so.

    When the lawsuits were initially filed a number of sites connected to the original Top Gear video in question and it spoke for itself. There wasn’t a misrepresentation of product when you listen to the wording used.

    The reality was when driven under track conditions, they could barely eek out 50 miles. Anyone with a few brain cells would add, so what. Give me a Toyota Yaris and have someone with the driving skills of the Stig dujour flog it mercilessly on a race course and it won’t even come close to its MPG rating (or if we want to say a Nissan Leaf, not close to its electric range either). You cannot change the laws of physics.

    I can’t “quote” word for word the narration as they pushed the Tesla, but it wasn’t such to directly imply that under normal conditions it’s range was over stated by 4X.

    It also doesn’t change the fact that without the proper rapid charger, it does take half-a-day to recharge as they observed, and that while trying to charge car number one, the brakes failed on car number two. Tesla was beyond stupid to supply and transport $260K in cars to Top Gear over seas and not provide a $1,000 plane ticket for an engineer and another $1,000 plane ticket for an AR/PR manager to support the Top Gear shoot and observe the activity.

  • avatar
    daviel

    I think Tesla is a perfect Darwin Award candidate. It sells a high dollar electric car to high minded rich people and does not tell them about a battery that will cost them over 40K to fix. These customers who can throw away the purchase price on the Tesla product can afford to fix it. Tesla prints up so much manual, disclaimer and waiver language to guard against liability that it ought to be a red flag to the customer. Tesla has something wrong with its car – the cell phone and laptop batteries drained of energy will brick the car. It does not tell the buyer that. It just tells the buyer not to do it. Maybe Tesla should have spent more money on battery engineering than on liability. Not telling the whole story is a deceptive sales practice IMO. Any lines forming at the dealerships. Who’d want one of these bricks now?

    • 0 avatar
      SimonAlberta

      I almost agree with you, but….

      I used to sell electric mobility scooters and wheelchairs and by far our biggest issue was customers running batteries down/leaving them down to the point of damaging them…then whinging when they started failing.

      All this in spite of a straightforward owner’s manual clearly telling them how to keep them maintained.

      And in spite of my THOROUGHLY running through battery maintenance needs.

      And in spite of my always sending purchasers a thank you letter in which I AGAIN reminded them of the battery needs.

      The TRUTH ABOUT BATTERY CARS is….some people are too damn stupid or lazy too be entrusted to own them so….they just shouldn’t buy them.

      For any normally sane and intelligent human being, in the right circumstances, a battery vehicle COULD be an excellent solution for them.

      For others, maybe not.

      BUT…I just don’t get this wailing and gnashing of teeth about a vehicle that needs a certain amount of thought put into it’s operation and service.

      If you are too dense to realise NOT to run the batteries down beyond the point of no return, then keep driving a gas guzzler.

      And NO, I am not saying the Tesla is a great car, or that there may not be some improvement they could make to help prevent battery problems….BUT….AGAIN….I say, it is not that HARD to find somewhere to recharge before the batteries die, surely?

  • avatar
    Junebug

    FJ60LandCruiser = Troll Master


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States