Tesla accuses Top Gear of foul play in roadster test

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In case you missed it, British auto show Top Gear took a Tesla Roadster for a drive and found it exciting but unreliable, as both cars appeared to fail on the track. Tesla alleges that the BBC either misrepresented or actually made up one or both of the problems in an effort to play on viewer expectations for an all-electric sports car. Here’s that video, for reference:

While Clarkson seems pretty straightforward about the cars both failing in some way or another, Tesla says that neither car got below 20% charge at any time and the other problem was a minor fuse issue that was fixed without delay.

Okay, it has to be said now that Top Gear is an entertainment show. I have no idea just how much is staged and how much is made up on the spot, but it sure isn’t journalism. They played lawn darts with cars, for god’s sake. They dramatize the strengths and weaknesses of the cars to make a better show, and when the Teslas slow down or fail, they make that into a segment. So the car was up running again in five minutes? Lucky they’re on TV and have engineers ready to replace a fuse! It’s a real problem if you’re on the highway. And unless Tesla is prepared to say that the Top Gear writers and editors fully made up the other Roadster running out of juice, they’re really in no position to complain at all.

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