Tesla Sues BBC's "Top Gear"

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Tesla claims the popular show faked a scene that appeared to show Tesla’s Roadster car running out of energy (about 5 minutes in):

In the episode, first broadcast in December 2008, Jeremy Clarkson takes a dubious approach to "brown rice, eco-cars" from the get-go. Then he gets excited driving a Tesla Roadster. "Wave goodbye to dial up, and say hello to broadband motoring!"  Then the car fails on him.

According to papers filed at the High Court in London, the Palo Alto firm alleges the Roadster pushed into a hangar hadn’t run out of power and didn’t need to be pushed. In other words, that the show producers faked it, and “grossly misled potential purchasers of the Roadster,” in the words of the filing. About 6 million potential purchasers - more, if you count the international audience. "Top Gear" has been the most-viewed show on BBC2 for a decade.

The BBC? “The BBC stands by the program and will be vigorously defending this claim.”

UPDATE: Top Gear responds.

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About Rachael Myrow

Rachael Myrow hosts the California Report for KQED. Over 17 years in public radio, she's worked for Marketplace and KPCC, filed for NPR and The World, and developed a sizable tea collection that's become the envy of the KQED newsroom. She specializes in politics, economics and history in California - but for emotional balance, she also covers food and its relationship to health and happiness.

Comments (1)

  1. Jordan says:

    The show was not in any way objective or factual. The show host, for unexplained reason, was totally against everything that the Tesla car has to offer. I guess the only way for the BBC to make their story straight is to pay big fine. The fines should be punitive and imposed in the court of law as an example to all of those involved in the media slander.