Tesla v. Top Gear: Proof of Damages Needed
Photo: Michael Graham Richard
This is an update on a post from last spring: Tesla Sues the BBC and Top Gear for Libel Over "Falsehoods" in Roadster Episode. Basically, Tesla Motors brought the British car show Top Gear to court, accusing them of faking mechanical problems with the electric Tesla Roadster, even going as far as to writing those 'glitches' into the script of the episode before they even got their hands on the Roadster that they were supposed to review.
The Guardian writes:
Ruling at the high court in London on Friday, Mr Justice Tugendhat said he would strike out the claim unless Tesla could show what probable damage it has suffered from Top Gear, which is BBC2's most popular programme, regularly attracting audiences of more than 6 million. Tesla's separate libel claim against the BBC was struck out last week.
It's going to be hard for Tesla to prove damages, because it's always much harder to prove a negative than a positive (ie. proving that some people did not buy a car from Tesla, or will not buy future models, because of the negative publicity).
If Top Gear actually did these things - I can't be sure, I wasn't there - it was a very unethical move, but I doubt that Tesla will be able to get any compensation for it. It's too bad because any new technology is already facing an uphill battle for acceptance, it really doesn't need to be portrayed unfairly on one of the most popular shows on top of everything...