Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tesla (TSLA) Sues Top Gear for Libel, Falsehood

BBC's Top Gear, the most popular show on the network, was sued by Tesla Motors (Nasdaq:TSLA), alleging libel and malicious falsehood.

"One of the show's presenters, Jeremy Clarkston, said although the car is quick, the range on Tesla's Roadster is limited. Clarkston claimed Tesla's Roadster ran out of juice after 55 miles, compared to the 200 million range the Palo Alto, CA-based automaker claimed it had. Tesla alleges the scene where the Roadster was shown running out of energy was faked, according to the filing," said TheStreet.

"This would be a material event to Tesla, as a 260% overstatement of battery life may impact a buyers decision to go with Tesla in the future, rather than General Motors (NYSE: GM) or Ford (NYSE: F). According to Bloomberg, the filing stated Top Gear's claim of 55 miles implies Tesla "'grossly misled potential purchasers of the Roadster.'"

"Top Gear has an audience of six million in the U.K. and viewership of 350 million internationally."

Tesla was trading at $23.68, down $0.24, or 1.00 percent.


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