Top Gear did not libel Tesla Motors, UK court rules

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Tesla Motors has lost a major part of its high court libel claim against Top Gear, the BBC's hit motoring show, but is still suing the corporation for malicious falsehood over an episode that showed the company's Roadster model running out of battery during multiple runs around their Dunsfold track.


Ruling at the high court in London on Wednesday, Justice Tugendhat said no Top Gear viewer would have, or could have, reasonably compared the car's performance on the show's track to its likely performance on a public road.

Luckily, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is always so well known for being totally reasonable.


According to the Guardian, Tugendhat said:

"In my judgment, the words complained of are wholly incapable of conveying any meaning at all to the effect that the claimant [Tesla] misled anyone.

"This is because there is a contrast between the style of driving and the nature of the track as compared with the conditions on a public road […] are so great that no reasonable person could understand that the performance on the [Top Gear] track is capable of a direct comparison with a public road."


Yeah, Elon, so there!

Top Gear's Andy Wilman said in April that he believed the lawsuit was more about Tesla trying to promote themselves. With this clear ruling, it's becoming more likely that Andy may have been right. (Hat tip to Anders!)