The no-holds-barred assessment comes after Tesla sued the BBC and Top Gear for libel and “malicious falsehood.” Although program host Jeremy Clarkson raved about the Roadster’s performance, Musk says the program grossly understated the Roadster’s range, faked a scene where one car ran out of juice, and erroneously claimed the other had a brake failure.
Not so, says executive producer Andy Wilman in a post written for Jalopnik. But Musk went off on the Beeb and Top Gear in an interview with The Detroit News Tuesday, following a press conference where Musk said his SpaceX firm is building the biggest rocket since the Saturn V.
“The fundamental thing with Top Gear is that the show was about as authentic as a Milli Vanilli concert, but the problem is most viewers don’t know that, ” Musk told the News, referring to the pop singers busted for lip-syncing. “For European investors, every single one, except one, specifically asked us why our car broke down on Top Gear. It was (messed) up.”
Although The News parenthetically quotes Musk saying “messed” up, Jalopnik’s Justin Hyde reports the News cleaned up Musk’s f-bomb.
Whatever the language, Musk repeats many of the claims outlined in the lawsuit (.pdf). Although the program first aired two years ago, Tesla filed suit last week. because the BBC continues to air the episode, which also is available on DVD and YouTube. It wants the BBC to pull the episode and correct the record.
Although Clarkson hailed the car’s acceleration as “biblical, ” he declared the technology “doesn’t seem to work” because the cars ran out of juice after 55 miles, needed 16 hours to recharge, and broke down. Tesla claims none of that happened, and Musk is especially peeved that Top Gear allegedly wrote the script before anyone actually drove the car. Tesla claims one of its employees saw a script written before the test.
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