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.