Today In Internet Pissing Matches: Telsa Motors Vs. The New York Times

Senior Contributor
02.15.13 14 Comments

Tesla Motors is famous for two things: Pricey electric roadsters and its exceptionally-prickly-when-it-comes-to-the-media CEO, Elon Musk. Musk has gotten into it before with Top Gear, and now he’s after the New York Times. Why? Because the Times gave his car a bad review.

Essentially, the NYT’s car critic, John Broder, had a less than fun journey between Washington D.C. and Connecticut testing out Tesla’s “Supercharger” stations. Broder’s essential point is that physics currently works against the Tesla sedan he tried out: Cold days mean less battery power means more likely to be stranded on the side of the road once your EV runs out of juice. Considering the Model S costs $52,000 or so to start, that’s kind of a problem.

Musk, in response, said Broder was faking the whole thing, something to which Broder reasonably took exception, although he also stated that once Tesla gets more charging stations up and running, he’s happy to redo the review. Musk has now released what he claims are Broder’s logs, and he insists they tell a different story.

Of course, adding some mud to the issue is the fact that Musk fails to include any sort of way to independently verify that these are Broder’s logs. We’re supposed to kinda take his word for it that these are legit, which, objectively, is a bit hard to swallow. It’s not like Musk has no dog in this fight, after all.

Musk might simply be sick of dealing with customer complaints: It’s become fairly clear the Model S is very much a work in progress, even if everybody who bought one loves it. Still, eventually somebody will have to explain to corporate types that saying “NO U” in public is not an effective public relations strategy.

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