Tesla CEO Blasts New York Times — Says Car Review Was 'Fake'

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EARLIER: Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk just blasted a New York Times review of the company’s new Model S sedan, calling author John Broder’s claims “fake.” In the review, Broder (who’s covered practically every subject for the Times since starting in the late ’90s) tested the car’s battery life, and found it wanting.

The gist:

  • Tesla’s battery life did not last the length of the trip, which went from DC to NY
  • Broder said this was despite doing everything Tesla advised doing to conserve the battery
  • Broder also said some of the poor performance may have been due to the low temperatures he was driving in

Musk just went on CNBC and accused Broder of not having charged the battery all the way, going past the advisable speed limit and taking a detour in Manhattan.

Broder started his trip in Washington. As he reached New Jersey he “noticed that the estimated range was falling faster than miles were accumulating”:

At 68 miles since recharging, the range had dropped by 85 miles, and a little mental maths told me that reaching Milford would be a stretch.

Eventually, the car’s heater shut off and the dash ordered him to “Recharge Now.”

Before going on CNBC, Musk ‘scritique came via Tweets. Of note is that the company says it has the data logs of the car, which forms the basis for the criticism of the review.

musk tweets nyt tesla

Photo: Elon Musk/Twitter

Courts tossed out a lawsuit Tesla filed against the BBC last year after the show Top Gear gave a similar review.   

Update: The New York Times responds:

“The Times’s February 10 article recounting a reporter’s test drive in a Tesla Model S was completely factual, describing the trip in detail exactly as it occurred. Any suggestion that the account was “fake” is, of course, flatly untrue.

“Our reporter followed the instructions he was given in multiple conversations with Tesla personnel. He described the entire drive in the story; there was no unreported detour. And he was never told to plug the car in overnight in cold weather, despite repeated contact with Tesla.”

Tesla’s stock dived this morning, post-review, but has come back a bit.


Photo: Yahoo

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