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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tesla sues BBC over "rigged" Top Gear electric car test [video]



Remember that time Top Gear gave the Tesla Roadster such a thrashing it broke, except it really didn't break? Tesla does, and it's now filed suit against the BBC and Top Gear accusing the Beeb of defamation.

The test from the episode aired in December, 2008 involved a race between the Tesla Roadster and the gas-powered Lotus Elise it's based on. The show featured Jeremy Clarkson saying the Tesla ran out of charge at 55 miles, with footage of it being pushed around a garage, ending with Clarkson saying "It's just a shame that in the real world it doesn't seem to work."

Shortly after it aired, Tesla said the Roadster never lost its charge, never needed to be pushed and asked Top Gear for some kind of retraction. After some sparring, the BBC admitted the footage of the push-powered Roadster was meant to show what could happen, saying the show fairly represented how the Tesla performed during tests.

With that episode still playing in repeats, available on DVD and now on Netflix streaming in the United States, Tesla says it was forced to act: "The BBC's conduct has given us no choice but to sue them and clear up their lies."

A BBC spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that we have received notification that Tesla have issued proceedings against the BBC.’


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