Back in December of 2008, Top Gear tested the Tesla Roadster. The Elise-based electric sports car was panned on almost every respect, from its abysmal range and overheating engine to the failed brakes.
Last March, Tesla filed a libel suit against BBC’s TV car show, claiming that the whole test was “staged” and demanded that the channel stop airing the episode while also asking for a compensation for damages.
After its first court case was dismissed in October of 2011, Tesla modified its lawsuit and gave it another shot. Unfortunately for Tesla, the lawsuit was dismissed by Mr Justice Tugendhat.
The rule stated that the new lawsuit was “not capable of being defamatory at all, or, if it is, it is not capable of being a sufficiently serious defamatory meaning to constitute a real and substantial tort.”
He added added that "as any reasonable motorist knows, a manufacturer's statement about the range of a motor vehicle is always qualified by a statement as to the driving conditions under which that range may be expected.
"For example, one range may be given for urban driving, and another for other conditions. But such statements are rarely, if ever, given to the public by reference to racing on a test track."
BBC on its behalf, released the following statement:
“We are pleased Mr Justice Tugendhat has ruled in favour of the BBC on both the issues before the court, first in striking out Tesla’s libel claim against the BBC; and secondly in describing Tesla’s malicious falsehood claim as so 'gravely deficient' it too could not be allowed to proceed.”
Story References: Guardian