Tesla sues Top Gear to 'correct the record'
Thursday 31 March 2011
Luxury electric car maker Tesla has sued BBC television program
Top Gear after a protracted disagreement over a review of its Roadster sports car.
The California-based firm, which makes the world's only serially-produced electric supercar, announced legal proceedings against the BBC March 29 claiming libel and malicious falsehood, after a spat which has lasted over two years.
Tesla's complaint relates to an episode of the show originally aired in December 2008 which featured the show's host Jeremy Clarkson reviewing its Roadster, before saying the car would run out of power after 55 miles, the motor had overheated and the brakes had failed.
It says that the Top Gear piece, which shows four men pushing the Tesla Roadster into a hangar, contained lies and misinformation about the Roadster's performance, behavior and reliability, specifically accusing the program of staging the breakdowns.
The BBC, for its part, says that it stands by its program and will be 'vigorously' defending the claim.
Top Gear is the world's most popular motoring show, screened to hundreds of millions of viewers around the world in multiple languages, available widely on DVD and on various websites - the YouTube clip of Clarkson's review has garnered nearly 200,000 views alone.
However, it has repeatedly been accused of a bias against electric cars, with Tesla saying that its verdict on the Roadster was pre-judged, pre-determined and pre-scripted.
A win for Tesla could lend some credence to critics' claims, although it is unlikely to change the outspoken style of the program, which has been forced to issue numerous apologies to various parties through the years.
Tesla says that it simply wants the BBC to stop rebroadcasting the episode and to correct its record - but it will now be up to a judge to decide whether Top Gear was fair to one of the world's first, and most expensive, electric cars.
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here
Life & Style blogs
Ebola outbreak: Virus to kill 67,000 in Monrovia by December, claims academic study
Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
Dear young men: The old stereotypes of what it is to be a 'man' are a load of rubbish
Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
What do the text messages between you and your partner reveal about your relationship?
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
£4848 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Outstanding...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Leeds: Cover Supervisors/Long Term Teaching Ass...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher...
£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Cover Supervisors needed for seco...