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Musk said he'll publish the driving log soon

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is ready to take The New York Times head-on over a "fake" review of the auto company's Model S sedan.

John Broder, a staff writer at The New York Times, recently tested out Tesla's Model S sedan on a road trip along the east coast. However, Broder’s final, published review spilled details of a failed trip and the many troubles the car gave him along the way.

The Model S sedan has an EPA rated 265-mile estimated range with an 85-kilowatt battery pack. This was the model provided to Broder for his road trip, and while other Model S testers were able to achieve about 300 miles under perfect conditions, Broder reported that the east coast's cold winter temperatures had severely depleted his charge on multiple occasions -- and bad advice from Tesla employees along the way only made matters worse. The car even eventually had to be towed.

Tesla Model S being loaded onto a flatbed after running out of "juice" [Image Souce: NYT]

Broder's report, released just last week, detailed a trip from the Washington area in Maryland to Norwich, Connecticut, with many stops in between including Newark, Delaware; New York City; Milford, Connecticut; Branford, Connecticut and Groton, Connecticut.

During his trip, Broder mentioned many instances where the battery suddenly depleted quickly and he had to call Tesla for assistance on how to maximize range between charging stops (which were about 200 miles apart from one another or less during the trip). He said he received different advice from different Tesla employees, and even bad advice from one that said to sit in the car for half an hour with the heat on a low setting in order to warm the battery after it depleted from an overnight stay in Groton.

At one point, the car even needed to be towed in Branford because the battery drained much sooner than anticipated.

When Broder published the article about his trip, Musk posted the following tweet:

Musk investigated the accusations by referring to the diagnostic data logged into the car from the actual journey. He discovered that the report wasn't entirely accurate, citing the car's data that suggests Broder was driving too fast at times, took a detour that he never mentioned in the article, and didn't charge the car completely.

Musk accused Broder of not following the car's instructions, which he was briefed on before the trip. The New York Times claimed he did.

“Our reporter followed the instructions he was given in multiple conversations with Tesla personnel,” The New York Times said in a statement. “He described the entire drive in the story; there was no unreported detour. And he was never told to plug the car in overnight in cold weather, despite repeated contact with Tesla.”

Musk said he would publish the driving log from the trip soon to prove that Broder lied in his report.

This isn't the first time Musk has gone after those who gave his company's vehicles poor reviews. In March 2011, Tesla's Roadster made an appearance on the UK car show "Top Gear," where the car overheated, had brake issues and had a range of only 55 miles on track conditions. Tesla sued BBC for libel and malicious falsehood, but an English court threw it out stating that the estimated ranges are always affected by driving conditions and that there was no basis for libel claim.

Sources: Bloomberg, The New York Times

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RE: Musk not helping
By rdhood on 2/12/2013 2:14:58 PM , Rating: 0
So the guy take it out for a "real world" type of drive, and gets 200 miles max. What's new?

Folks live in hot, live in cold, forget to plug in overnight, etc, etc, etc. If a "family" car can't do all that without intensive babying, this is what happens.

Sorry, but electric vehicles are STILL the toys of the folks who live in medium-temp climates in urban areas for around town driving. I'll consider them when/if they will get greater than 400 miles, and can be recharged in 15 minutes. They are toys for the rich that should not be subsidized my tax dollars.

RE: Musk not helping
By Dug on 2/12/2013 3:51:30 PM , Rating: 2
The average of midsize car is still 20MPG. Without "babying" the car you will be lucky to get 240 miles on a gas car.

RE: Musk not helping
By grooves21 on 2/12/2013 4:54:01 PM , Rating: 1
Except a gas car car be filled anywhere in the nation in 5 minutes... and if you are dumb and run out of gas, any tow truck can get you on the road in seconds via the 5 gallon fuel can they carry around.

Having to sit for hours to get on your way after depleting a battery or being forced to have special routes in order to live within your range means that the range on electric cars needs to be FAR greater than a gas car in order to have equal functionality.

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