It’s been a tough month for Tesla, the California battery-car start-up. While it stood toe-to-toe with the New York Times following a critical review of the Model S sedan, many investors quickly abandoned the company, especially after a worse-than-expected fourth-quarter loss.
Now, the British courts have landed a punch, tossing a lawsuit Tesla had filed against the much-watched BBC TV series Top Gear. The appeals court found no merit in Tesla’s claim that it had been libeled by the program which showed one of the maker’s Roadsters running out of power during a day of track testing.
Tesla originally filed the lawsuit in March 2011, alleging Top Gear committed libel and malicious falsehood – and claiming that the snarky segment cost it $171,000 in lost sales.
But the court ruled later that year that, “no reasonable person could understand that the performance on the track is capable of a direct comparison with a public road.”