The BBC's Top Gear programme has landed itself in trouble again over comments and footage featured on the show in December 2008.
Californian-based company Tesla, which manufactures the world's fastest electric car, is suing the BBC for defamation and malicious falsehood.
Tesla is taking action over an episode that tested its Tesla Roadster against a petrol-fuelled car, the Lotus Elise. The drag race between the two was hailed as the "ultimate test for an electric car."
During the race the Roadster appeared to slow right down before having to be pushed to a garage in order to be recharged. Tesla is claiming the footage was faked and that the show's claim that the breaks were broken was false.
Tesla is basing its allegations on evidence from its UK director of sales and marketing. The director claims to have seen two versions of the Top Gear script for the episode, both of which were written before the test even took place.
One version featured the final pay-off line delivered by Jeremy Clarkson during the episode after the Roadster failed the test: 'It's just a shame that in the real world it doesn't seem to work'. In addition, one of the scripts details a scene where the Roadster is seen being pushed back into the Top Gear hangar in order to be recharged.
Tesla are choosing to bring a defamation claim against the BBC despite the episode being broadcast more than two years ago because it says its numerous attempts to complain to the BBC about the inaccuracies have been ignored.
Tesla says its reputation has been "severely damaged" and that Top Gear "intentionally and/or recklessly, grossly misled potential purchasers of Roadsters."
Top Gear is no stranger to controversy. The presenters recently insulted the entire Mexican population by branding them "lazy, feckless, flatulent [and] overweight". However, this time the programme has landed the BBC with a defamation claim to defend, which if successful, could cost the broadcaster £100,000 in damages.
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