Tesla Fires Back at New York Times Over Road Test Review

2012-43 STY Cars Tesla Model S H

The electric Tesla Model S can be charged at home via a conventional electrical socket or, for a quicker charge, a 240-volt outlet.


The electric car, popular among environmentally-conscious Hollywood stars, was knocked in a Times' review that said it did not perform as advertised.

Days after the New York Times reported that the Tesla's Model S sedan under performed during a two-day test drive from Washington, DC to Boston, the boutique electric car company has released data that it says counters the Times' review.

In a blog post, the company's CEO, PayPal billionaire Elon Musk wrote in a blog post filled with graphs the motor company pulled from the car's logs, that the Times journalist, David M. Broder, "simply did not accurately capture what happened and worked very hard to force our car to stop running."

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Using the data, Musk refuted Broder's criticisms of the $101,000 car, which he drove up the east coast over a two day trip to test the advertised 265-mile range between charges. The company's data, which was logged during the trip, reveals that Broder did not follow instructions for his drive, which were to travel a steady 55 mph and turn down climate control.

The writer says he set cruise control at 54 mph and dropped at points to 45 mph; Tesla responded with data claiming he drove between 65-81 mph, and kept the car at 72 degrees, then increased it to 74 degrees when he claims to have shut down the heat. Broder wrote that he had to turn down the heat at one point, leaving him freezing.

Musk also wrote that "The final leg of his trip was 61 miles and yet he disconnected the charge cable when the range display stated 32 miles," doing so "expressly against the advice of Tesla personnel and in obvious violation of common sense."

Broder, he said, "constructed a no-win scenario for any vehicle, electric or gasoline."

Tesla has installed charging stations in Newark, Delaware and Milford, Connecticut, the first of many electric depots it hopes to build throughout the nation. Broder writes that his car experienced several dips in stored power, dropping precariously low as he drove through New Jersey. Musk countered, saying that Broder did not properly charge his vehicle, disengaging from the power stations before the car's battery was full, and skipping public charging stations despite low battery warnings.

The Times previously released a statement backing Broder's report.

Tesla has many celebrity fans, including Will.i.am and Morgan Freeman. Producer Dana Brunetti tweeted in defense of the company, calling for Broder to lose his job.