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 Top Gear In Trouble Over Electric Sports Car Test

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PostSubject: Top Gear In Trouble Over Electric Sports Car Test   Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:57 am

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They have rarely worried about who they might offend, but this time the Top Gear team may have driven too close to the edge.

Only months after insulting the whole of Mexico, the BBC’s flagship motoring show has been accused by the U.S. maker of the world’s fastest production electric car of faking a race.

Tesla Motors Inc yesterday issued a writ at the High Court over an episode featuring ‘the ultimate test for an electric car’ – a drag race between its Roadster and a petrol-powered Lotus Elise.

It was a test the Tesla – which has a top speed of 125mph and is favoured by film stars including George Clooney – appeared to fail after dramatically slowing down on the track and being pushed into a garage to await charging.

Presenter Jeremy Clarkson concluded: ‘It’s just a shame that in the real world it doesn’t seem to work.’

Now Tesla – a Californian company that builds its cars in the UK – is claiming defamation and malicious falsehood, saying the scenes were faked. Top Gear’s allegations that the brakes had also broken were false, it claimed.

The company said it became aware of the staging of the scene when its UK director of sales and marketing saw two scripts before the car had even been driven.

One of the scripts concluded with virtually the same pay-off line used by Clarkson. ‘It’s just a shame that in the real world it absolutely doesn’t work,’ it read.

Tesla also challenged Top Gear ‘about another script which called for the Roadster to be filmed being pushing into the hangar having run out of charge’.
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