A full two years after Jeremy Clarkson poked fun at the Tesla Roadster on the hit show Top Gear, the automotive company has slapped the BBC with a lawsuit. On the show, Clarkson acts more like a child in a grown-up suit than a reckless lawbreaker, but he complained on air about the electric vehicle’s 55 mile range and pushed it into a garage as though the battery had gone flat. Tesla claims there is no way the car ran out of juice. Read on for more details and a short clip of the offending footage we caught on Engadget this morning.
Tesla gave the show’s three stars, who make up “The Stig,” two cars to work with, neither of which dropped below a 25% charge. So pushing the car into the garage was nothing more than a funny prank. The automakers might have laughed off the stunt if Top Gear didn’t have 350 million adoring groupies hanging on Clarkson’s every word. Instead, two (suspiciously long) years later,Tesla has charged the BBC with libel and malicious falsehood for depicting the Roadster as an under-performing road vehicle.