Auto enthusiasts around the world tune in to the BBC’s "Top Gear" to watch the show’s hosts drive and discuss some of the most interesting, expensive and groundbreaking vehicles ever made. In December 2008, "Top Gear" host Jeremy Clarkson introduced the audience to the Tesla Roadster, and Tesla Motors is not happy about what was said.
Yesterday, Tesla Motors filed a libel and malicious falsehood suit in London, claiming that Clarkson’s statements about the Tesla Roadster were not only incorrect but that the entire scene was faked.
James Lumley with Bloomberg was able to access a copy of the lawsuit, which includes a transcript of the "Top Gear" episode in question. Tesla Motors takes issue with the following statement by Clarkson:
“Although Tesla says 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.” Source: Bloomberg
Obviously, a potential Roadster buyer would reconsider the purchase after watching this episode of "Top Gear." There is a significant difference between a 200-mile range and a 55-mile range. Tesla considers this 55-mile claim to be defamatory, and BBC plans to defend this claim in court.
On a related note, Tesla Motors recently announced that Roadster owners in 30 countries have now logged 10 million driving miles. The 10 million miles have saved 500,000 gallons of gasoline and eliminated more than 5.3 million pounds of driving-related carbon dioxide emissions.