American electric car maker Tesla Motors has filed a lawsuit against the BBC over an episode of its popular Top Gear show that Tesla says is libelous and contains, “malicious falsehood.”
The issue surrounds a test Top Gear did of the Tesla Roadster in which Tesla claims the show faked aspects, including having the Tesla car run out of power and need a recharge. Tesla claims neither of its cars dropped below 20 percent battery life during the shoot and also refutes a statement by presenter Jeremy Clarkson that one of the cars suffered from issues with the brakes.
Tesla has also taken issue with claims in the episode that the car has a range of just 50 miles, rather than the 211 mile range Tesla claims.
While the original episode aired in 2008, Tesla is suing in response to unedited re-turns of the show, as well as copies sold on DVD. Of note, Tesla appears to be suing more for the principle than the money, with the suit for less than £100,000.
In a statement the Silicon Valley-based EV maker commented that, “Tesla simply wants Top Gear to stop rebroadcasting this malicious episode and to correct the record, but they’ve repeatedly ignored Tesla’s requests.”
The BBC has confirmed receipt of the suit and a spokeswoman for the show said that, “The BBC stands by the programme and will be vigorously defending this claim.”