For all the fun and hilarity Top Gear has given us for the better part of a decade, the show has also been a lightning rod of controversy as evidenced by the countless number of complaints and law suits the show – and BBC as a network – has received from just about everybody it has ‘offended’ since the show became a worldwide phenomenon.
Apparently, one of the recipient’s of Top Gear’s sometimes brash and swaggering wrath has decided to bite back.
Two years ago, the British show caused quite a stir on one of their shows for their sharp and pointed criticisms of the Tesla Roadster. Understandably so, it didn’t sit well with the folks over at Tesla Motors and after a few back and forth barbs with the British show, the California-based automaker decided to turn the other cheek – with the strong arm of a lawsuit.
According to Tesla, Top Gear’s whole review of the Roadster was predicated on their pre-existing grounds that electric cars don’t work – if you watch the video, you’re going to notice James May tease a future segment later on in the episode, debunking the notion of electric cars being the future of the auto industry – and in turn, giving viewers a distorted image of the Roadster as a completely unreliable and irrelevant car.
Tesla’s VP of Communications, Ricardo Reyes, elaborated on the issue through the company’s blog site. In it, he wrote that “the show’s script, written before the cars were tested, has host Jeremy Clarkson concluding the segment by saying, "in the real world, it doesn’t seem to work."
Top Gear has ruffled a lot of feathers on its show, but Tesla seems to be taking this very seriously. Whether BBC decides to engage in a sartorial volley with the American automaker is totally in their character, but in this instance, it looks like they may have to play nice and put on a serious look before facing an automaker that’s throwing libel charges at them.
Or, they could just avoid all the hoopla and just stop rebroadcasting the episode in question and set the record straight about the car. But knowing Top Gear and BBC, what are the chances of that happening?
Check out the controversial Top Gear segment after the jump.