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.

Comments

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    I'm no fan of Musk, the way he handled this problem is pretty unprofessional, and Broder's article clearly talks about some of the absurdities in owning an electric car (recharge time, lost charge through the night)... but the hard data seems pretty damning, doesn't it? Perhaps Broder had a memory lapse and forgot that he actually turned down the HVAC at 225 miles, and maybe the displayed speedo was overly optimistic. Sure, I can buy that. But how do you explain the 0.6 miles with speeds fluctuating between 1-15 mph upon decelerating into the Milford rest stop? Was he looking for the charge station or what?

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    This smacks of the rigged blowout story from years ago. Was there insufficient drama for Mr Broder so he made some up? If the Tesla spped and load data is found to be accurate, he has been caught in a lie.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Dagnabit, "...speed and load data...."

  • pommah pommah Posts:

    NYT reporter is so busted. Wonder what all their stories would be like if there were a built-in accuracy meter.

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