The high court in London, today ruled that Top Gear did not libel Tesla Motors. The verdict comes as part of the ongoing litigation between the two parties. A claim for malicious falsehood is still to be determined. The Californian company raised the claim at the beginning of this year after lending the British motoring show two cars back in 2008 for a televised review.
Speaking at the high court today Mr Justice Tugendhat said ‘that no Top Gear viewer would have reasonably compared the car’s performance on the show’s airfield track to its likely performance on a public road.’ The ruling on this particular part of the case makes a clear distinction between the track and road elements of a vehicle test.
The case arose from Jeremy Clarkson’s claims that the Roadster only lasted 55 miles on Top Gear’s Dunsfold track. Tesla claims a range of 200 miles for the car making the Top Gear figure 145 miles short of the quoted figure. The libel argument centered around a claim that Top Gear had fabricated the segment. Further to this, Tesla also claim that a blown fuse was characterised as a brake failure, and that the Roadster did not became immobile as a result of overheating. We reported on Telsa’s claim here and Top Gear’s response here.
The case continues with the judge yet to decide on the five separate matters of malicious falsehood. We expect to hear the result of these final claims either later today or tomorrow morning. We’ll keep you updated.