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Tesla Sues Top Gear

Battery car maker claims show “maliciously” lied about Tesla Roadster.

by on Mar.30, 2011

Top Gear's hosts shown pushing a Tesla back into their garage during the disputed program.

Battery car start-up Tesla Motors has sued the popular BBC program, “Top Gear,” claiming it maliciously lied about the company’s 2-seat Roadster.

The legal action, taken in the U.K. aims to have the widely-syndicated show stop rebroadcasting an episode in which one of Top Gear’s hosts claims the Tesla Roadster experienced a series of “breakdowns” while being tested.

A senior Tesla executive cites a comment made by Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson claiming that, “in the real world, it doesn’t really work.”

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But that line, according to a blog by Tesla Vice President Ricardo Reyes, was “written before the cars were tested.”

In the Top Gear episode, the show claims their test vehicle ran out of power after just 55 miles, rather than the 211 Tesla claims, experienced catastrophic brake failure, overheated, and had to be pushed into a garage when it became inoperable.