By on March 5, 2013

A U.K. court dismissed a libel lawsuit from Tesla against the BBC show “Top Gear,” Bloomberg reports.

The case had been thrown out  before. Tesla appealed.

In the show, Jeremy Clarkson said the car would only run for 55 miles on a full battery. Tesla said he lied, and that the breakdown was scripted.

Three judges dismissed the appeal today, saying they were not persuaded that “the case which Tesla seeks to make has any real prospect of success.”

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30 Comments on “Tesla Suit Against Top Gear Thrown Out Again...”


  • avatar
    raph

    Elon you are trying to hard! Tesla is fast becoming the Scientology of the automotive world.

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    Musk reportedly said the car business is much harder than he originally thought. He will continue to learn just how hard it is!

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Who the heck cares? 12 year olds don’t buy electric vehicles anyways.

    • 0 avatar
      moedaman

      Elon doesn’t have to, he owns the company.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      But they do! I’d say that they are the largest demographic for Scalectrix and SCX, two of the biggest players in the EV field.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Did you know they have slot cars that can change lanes! How cool is that? Nothing against the solitary basement-dwelling adult electric train crowd, for whom I have the utmost respect, but changing lanes? Wow. If I would have had this technology as a kid, I never would have grown into the mature adult I am today. Elon should pounce on this market. The development cash has already been spent. He just needs to scale it to 1/32 and bam, money.

        • 0 avatar
          MeaCulpa

          Yeah I actually did, I had a stint of nostalgia – missing my Senna Track in a smaller scale – so I looked around the net and was blown away by the tracks and features available now.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Elon seems kinda prickly. His very expensive car has unpredictable range for most drivers and very long charge times compared to conventional refueling. I can understand his brittle emotions. His car is a cool technology demonstrator and ego-extender that is circling the toilet.

    Maybe he should shoot himself into space for a while and hang out on the ISS. If he feels bad about the Tesla, the ISS should cheer him up. Talk about a floating pile of space crap and horrifying waste of taxpayer money. It almost does make the Tesla look like an “investment.”

    I read a comment from a test driver from Consumer Reports who said that the Tesla would be a fantastic car if you took out the electric stuff and threw a Corvette engine in it. Sounds about right. Sorry electro-nerds and Norwegians, this company is doomed, subsidies or no subsidies.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I wonder if he ever watched the show prior to his car being on it?

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    This is just throwing good money after bad. Elon needs to stop before he loses any more cash on this silliness, not like Tesla really has all that much to spare.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Going 9-10/10ths on a track, 55 miles is probably generous.

  • avatar

    I don’t blame Elon for defending the car and suing TG at all. I’m one of TG’s biggest fans, but fair is fair. It was already in the script, before the car was even driven, that it would break down. Even when it did supposedly run out of juice (after being thrashed and hooned for quite awhile and not being driven normally), it still had 50 miles of range left according to the vehicle logs yet TG showed them having to push the car back to the hanger. Besides, I don’t remember seeing any segment on TG showing what happens to any other car if it runs out of gas and then say or imply that the car wasn’t worth buying because it ran out.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Link please…you make serious claims. In the British courts the threshold for proving libel in the courts is extremely low. Your claims run counter to that low threshold.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      The “test” that ended up on the air was scripted, but there’s more to the story than that, supposedly TG test drives the car of camera. The opinions formed of camera is worked into a script with whatever happened of camera that’s worth incorporating.

    • 0 avatar
      serothis

      I agree with apagtth, in that I need a link for your claims.

      But three things I would like to point out. One is that both cars legitimately needed to be pushed back. Car 1 overheated it’s motor and went into limp mode. Car 2 blew it’s brake fuse which required a tesla mechanic to replace it. In the video that aired they explicitly mention both of these problems that arose in the respective cars.

      http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/judge-throws-out-tesla-top-gear-lawsuit/
      http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1057705_tesla-vs-topgear-only-half-of-the-story

      The second is that Top Gear never actually claimed that the tesla’s were out of power. They merely pointed out that IF they had run out of power they would need a long time to fully recharge. Yes the edited the video to give the implication that the car ran out of power but implications don’t hold up in court.

      The third is that the tesla suit revolves mostly around the battery range claim. In the video they explicitly said “although Tesla say it will do 200 miles we worked out that on our track it would run out after just 55 miles and if it does run out it’s not a quick job to charge it up again” And that’s the crux of why the judges have thrown out tesla’s libel suit. The average person would not confuse the fuel economy of track use with that of everyday use.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Exactly – it was in the words used.

        If I took an FR-S and hooned the bejesus out of it on a track, I’ll probably get 8 to 12 MPG when its all said and done. If I simply state, “on the highway gently driven the FR-S can get 30 MPG, but out on the track, you’ll get about a 1/3 of that,” there is nothing libelous, deceiving, or inaccurate about that statement.

        I remember Top Gear also demonstrated quite effectively that the weight of the extra batteries robbed the Lotus derived chassis of its incredible handling – turning it into just great handling. I seem to remember the conclusion was in capable hands (e.g. “The Stig”) the Roadster would be slower than a Lotus Elise on a technically challenging road course. That the Tesla had the raw advantage in the straights, but when it came to the turns, it had to scrub off more power and work harder.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    This company is digging its self into a hole.

    If this man had half a brain he would know to keep quite until the results from the black box came out, review them and then make a short simple statement.
    By firing back at every single negative piece done, he’s making himself and his company look bad.

    Hopefully no more of our tax money goes to this company, because they surely don’t deserve to be paying this clown

    • 0 avatar
      serothis

      What black box? This dispute between tesla and top gear has been going on since 2008. Top gear made an entertaining video, raised some questions. tesla claimed libel and sued. So far tesla’s case has been thrown out of court twice. If there is more data then Musk has had 4 years to get it and release it. Which either means that the data makes tesla look pretty bad or it doesn’t exist. But it certainly isn’t going to make top gear look bad or it would have surfaced.

      And Musk seems to be incapable of making a short statements. Or letting his PR department actually do their jobs.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Whispering:

    “Psst… Elon, come over here. You’re right, and we both know it. But the court doesn’t get it, and those Top Gear guys are a bunch of jerks, not to mention that bunch from the New York Times. What a lousy justice system we have. They just don’t understand. They didn’t get DeLorean, either, but today everyone knows he built the ultimate time machine. But let’s move on and get the Model X finished. Then you can laugh all the way to the bank.”

  • avatar
    dougjp

    So this is what Eh-Lon thinks the marketing budget is for. Or he’s been zapped one too many times.

  • avatar
    E46M3_333

    I just watched the TG video for the first time. I think Elon let his ego get the best of him. There’s no way a reasonable person would conclude there was libel there. The reviewer also made many positive comments about the car. Elon just had his feelings hurt. Boo hoo.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    I love TG (the UK version) and I think it’s great that they tell it like it is. It’s like hearing what reveiwers really think before the boss reminds them about the biting the hand that feeds them. I laugh at the clowns at Car & Driver and Motor Trend, you can always tell who “paid” for the review.


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