Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Electric Carmaker Charges BBC with Libel & Malicious Falsehood

DRESDEN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 13:  A visitor sit...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeIn Tesla Motors, Ltd. et al. v. BBC (Claim No. HQ11D01162), filed in the Queen's Bench Division of England's High Court of Justice this week, the maker of the electric Tesla Roadster sued popular program Top Gear for defamation and malicious falsehood over a Dec. 14, 2008, episode in which the vehicle allegedly didn't fare well in a series of tests.

As reported by Websites and and the carmaker's own Website, Tesla's 13-page Complaint specifically targets Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson, along with executive producer Andrew Wilman and researcher Gavin Whitehead.  According to the Complaint, the defendant allegedly misrepresented the capabilities of the Roadster, including purportedly stating the vehicle had a 55-mile battery range, rather than the plaintiff's claimed 200-mile range; that Top Gear falsely claimed the brakes on a particular Roadster were broken; and that another tested vehicle alleged overheated, which the plaintiff denies. Tesla also claims footage showing a  Roadster being pushed into a hangar because it's power allegedly was drained also was untrue and actionable.

Clearly, the electric carmaker didn't get the kind of plug it was looking for from the BBC.

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