Tesla CEO slams car review as ‘fake’

A big row has broken out over a review of the Tesla all-electric car in the New York Times last week.

CEO Elon Musk has strongly denied claims in the article that the company’s flagship Tesla Model S doesn’t hold its charge well in cold weather. Reporter John Broder said he charged the car fully, turned off the heating and drove on cruise control at 54 mph to conserve the battery as much as possible.

Nevertheless, he wrote, the car quickly lost its charge and ground to a halt ten miles short of the next charging station.

Musk, though, denies that this is what happened at all. “NYTimes article about Tesla range in cold is fake,” he tweeted. “Vehicle logs tell true story that he didn’t actually charge to max & took a long detour.” Musk tweeted.

And, he says, it’s possible to prove it. Ever since the company’s high-profile row with Top Gear two years ago, it’s enabled vehicle logging for all press test drives.

Musk is promising to release the details of the logs on the company blog. In the meantime, he tells Bloomberg West that Broder didn’t in fact charge the car fully. He also, says Musk, drove at well above the speed limit and took an unplanned detour through Manhattan.

“If you do all those three things, which we were clear should not be done and obviously common sense suggests should not be done, then you will not be able to go as far,” he says.

“If you did not fill a gasoline car’s gas tank far enough, then went on a detour and ran out of gas, you should not be surprised if that occurs.”

When Tesla took issue with a Top Gear review of the Roadster, the company went so far as to sue the program for libel – although the case was later dismissed. So far, Musk has stopped short of threatening the same thing this time.