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UK: Judge throws out Tesla’s ‘Top Gear’ lawsuit

Tesla’s libel suit against the BBC show “Top Gear” was thrown out of British court for the second time.

Tesla Motors’ libel suit against the British television show “Top Gear” was thrown out for the second time yesterday. Tesla was suing ”Top Gear” over a December 2008 review of the company’s Roadster, which depicted a car with a dead battery being pushed into a hangar.

British Justice Tugendhat said that, “rectification of inaccuracies is not a function of the courts unless that can be achieved in the course of proceedings properly brought to enforce a recognized course of action.” He also said that Tesla seemed determined to get a ruling declaring that ”Top Gear” had lied.

Tesla’s original suit claimed that ”Top Gear” misrepresented the car’s range. The episode shows a Roadster being pushed, but Tesla claims its batteries were not depleted. Host Jeremy Clarkson said that “on our track, it will run out after just 55 miles.” The Roadster’s listed range is 200 miles.

“Top Gear” also said that one of their two test car’s brakes had failed partway through shooting. The problem turned out to be a blown fuse that effected the brake’s power assist.


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