BBC is being sued by Tesla over allegations that Top Gear rigged a race involving the Tesla Roadster sports car to ensure the gas powered car would win.
Tesla Motors, based in Silicon Valley, alleges that in a 2008 edition of the BBC show a race was rigged to make it look like the electric sports car ran out of power and was unable to compete with the gas powered vehicle.
The lawsuit stats, “When Top Gear reviewed the Tesla Roadster, the episode that aired contained lies and misinformation about the Roadster’s performance, behavior and reliability.”
The charges against BBC include libel and malicious falsehood.
Studies show that the Tesla Roadster is the fastest electric car currently in production. Top Gear said the claims are unfounded and they would absolutely defend the race.
Following the race, host Jeremy Clarkson said, “Although Tesla say it’ll do 200 miles, we worked out that on our track it would run out after just 55 miles.”
However, according to Tesla the vehicle’s millage per charge was independently certified at 211 miles by a third party European Union test.
The argument Tesla makes is that if “driven aggressively” as it was on Top Gear the charge will not last as long, but if driven “mindfully” the charge could effectively last for 313 miles.