British court rules for Top Gear in Tesla legal row

Oct 21, 2011
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What did Tesla really expect when it lent the Brits over at Top Gear one of its Roadsters for a review a while back? These guys are well known to get some of the facts on a car wrong and they are well known for bashing most things American made. The show is also going to drive the crap out of the car on the track and around the roads it is used on. With an electric car with a range that is very dependent on the way the car is driven, things were stacked against Tesla from the start.

Tesla was not happy with the review Top Gear aired so it claimed the test was rigged and promptly filed suit against the show. The case has had its day in court and the British Justice that heard arguments has concluded that Top Gear DID NOT libel Tesla in its review. The ruling was handed down by Justice Tugendhat this Wednesday.

This isn't the end of the legal wrangling though. Tesla is also suing Top Gear's network BBC for five other statements made during the 2008 review of the Roadster. The same judge is presiding over all of the cases. The official verdict is below.

In my judgment, the words complained of are wholly incapable of conveying any meaning at all to the effect that the claimant misled anyone. This is because the contrast between the style of driving and the nature of the track as compared with the conditions on a public road are so great that no reasonable person could understand that the performance on the track is capable of a direct comparison with a public road.

[via Autoblog]


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