Tesla Publishes Vehicle Logs in Disputed Test Drive, Calls for Probe


  • Tesla Model S Vehicle Log Picture

    Tesla Model S Vehicle Log Picture

    Tesla Motors published the vehicle logs tracking the movements of New York Times reporter John Broder as he test-drove a Model S. | February 14, 2013

7 Photos

Just the Facts:
  • Tesla Motors published the vehicle logs in the dispute triggered by a negative review of the Tesla Model S and the automaker's Supercharger system in The New York Times.
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk is calling for the Times to "investigate this article and determine the truth."
  • Musk says "what is at stake for sustainable transportation is simply too important to the world to ignore."

PALO ALTO, California — Tesla Motors published the vehicle logs late Wednesday in the dispute triggered by a negative review of the Tesla Model S and the automaker's Supercharger system in The New York Times.

The logs track in seemingly minute detail everything from the vehicle's speed and amount of charge at various points in the trip to New York Times reporter John Broder adjusting the climate-control system in the Model S.

"The logs show again that our Model S never had a chance with John Broder," wrote Tesla CEO Elon Musk in a 1,200-word blog post published on the Tesla Web site.

The blog post was entitled "A Most Peculiar Test Drive."

Musk is calling for the Times to "investigate this article and determine the truth." Tesla is calling into question Broder's claim that the Model S performed poorly in cold temperatures, leaving him stranded and requiring him to call for a flatbed truck.

Musk wrote: "When the facts didn't suit his opinion, (Broder) simply changed the facts. Our request of the New York Times is simple and fair: please investigate this article and determine the truth. You are a news organization where that principle is of paramount importance and what is at stake for sustainable transport is simply too important to the world to ignore."

James Cobb, the auto editor at The New York Times did not respond immediately to a request from Edmunds asking for reaction to the call by Tesla for an investigation into the review. In an earlier interview with Edmunds this week, Cobb said the newspaper is standing by its reporter and the review.

Musk's blog post likens Broder's Model S review to a negative review of the Tesla Roadster by the BBC's Top Gear. Tesla ended up suing the BBC for libel and malicious falsehood following that review.

"In the case with Top Gear, their legal defense was that they never actually said it broke down, they just implied that it could and then filmed themselves pushing what viewers did not realize was a perfectly functional car," Musk wrote. "In Mr. Broder's case, he simply did not accurately capture what happened and worked very hard to force our car to stop running."

In an e-mailed message to Edmunds on Thursday morning, Tesla spokeswoman Shanna Hendriks wrote: "Please note, no one from Tesla — including Elon — will be providing additional comment on this topic moving forward as we feel the blog speaks for itself. At this time, this post is the company's final statement on the issue. We are happy to provide clarity however, should you have any questions."

Edmunds says: This may not be the final word in this fight.

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