The Tesla Versus TopGear Lawsuit So Far: Quick Recap

March 31, 2011

EV maker Tesla and U.K. TV car show TopGear are soon to be locked in a battle, this time in the courtroom rather than on the airwaves and front pages: Tesla is dredging up the past, suing the BBC and the television show for an episode that aired back in December, 2008.

The segment, despite praising the performance of the Tesla Roadster in several respects, comes to several negative conclusions about the car, and presents a few scenes that many draw even worse inferences from. Tesla wants to set the record straight on the Roadster and what actually went down on the TopGear set that day. It also wants to block TopGear and the BBC from rebroadcasting the segment to protect its reputation.

For a closer look at the argument, we have Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield of AllCarsElectric weighing in on the suit with a no-nonsense look at the complaint filed by Tesla, the pre-scripted nature of the show, and the resulting impact on Tesla's reputation and product.

I offer a different take on the topic at MotorAuthority, looking into why Tesla might be going after the BBC at this late date, especially since it means dredging up the problems the company as much as admits actually did happen in its complaint. Is this suit as much about attention as it is about accuracy?

The New York Times Wheels Blog also stuck its toe in the water a few minutes ago, coming out with a take that lands somewhere between the other two.

We'll have more in-depth coverage, plus a roundup of the many viewpoints on the matter over the coming days, so stick around as we dig into what's really going on between Tesla and the BBC.

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