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Elon Musk Lays Out His Evidence That NYT Tesla Test Drive Was Staged

timothy posted about a year ago | from the relax-cbs-does-this-all-the-time dept.

The Media 841

mykepredko writes "Tesla Motors CEO and founder Elon Musk definitely isn't the best guy to try to pull a fast one on. The visionary entrepreneur set Twitter a titter when he claimed earlier this week that New York Times writer John Broder had fudged details about the Tesla Models S car's range in cold weather, resulting in what he termed a 'fake' article. Musk promised evidence, and now he has delivered, via the official Tesla blog."

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841 comments

Pathetic. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897163)

Did John Broder think that in a car as sophisticated as the Tesla they wouldn't keep event the simplest of logs? My home router keeps more detail than it took to debunk this story. When I'm 30 miles from stranded my far less sophisticated Volt starts nagging and the Nav system offers "Plot a course to the nearest refueling point?" If you ignore this for half an hour, I assume you run out of gas. I'll never know.

Fake news enthusiasts should probably form a club so they can bounce ideas off one another and prevent embarrassingly weak lies from getting into print. It makes them all look... lame.

Re:Pathetic. (5, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#42897389)

Also, why would he try to tarnish this car? He doesn't appear to own an oil company.

Re:Pathetic. (5, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#42897539)

Also, why would he try to tarnish this car? He doesn't appear to own an oil company.

Could be as simple as page views. A story saying the car doesn't perform as advertised generates a lot more interest than one saying "yep, everything worked as expected." Just like Top Gear did a while back. Of course, I stopped expecting Top Gear to be reliable a while back and now just enjoy it as pure entertainment (which it really is), but this guy pretended to be writing a genuine news story.

Re:Pathetic. (3, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42897681)

Just personal bias. A lot of automotive journalists are not only conservative (and as such hate "green" stuff and especially Tesla who accepted money from the US government) but also hate the shit out of electric cars, basically because they're traditionalists.

I'm a skeptic. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897397)

Of course Elon has proof to back up his claims. He is the guy behind that car after all. And if his car used pink unicorns, he'd have proof of their existence.

When I see an unbiased third party do the test - like Consumer Reports or Motor Trend - then I'll take what has to be said seriously. Until then, I'll treat everything with skepticism.

Re:I'm a skeptic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897525)

That's exactly right - until an impartial third party comes in, it's just a pissing match between two fools.

Re:I'm a skeptic. (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year ago | (#42897663)

If it wasn't reviewed on Top Gear UK, it wasn't reviewed!

Wait, what is this "unbiased" you speak of?

Good News / Bad News (-1, Troll)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#42897205)

The good news is, you can't fake results with a Tesla.

The bad news is, your car can and will tattle on you.

The slope - it is a slippery one.

Re:Good News / Bad News (5, Informative)

Ossifer (703813) | about a year ago | (#42897237)

The blog entry explains that the logging is not done on consumer vehicles without prior consent, but that this is always turned on for the press, after Tesla was scammed by Top Gear.

Re:Good News / Bad News (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897289)

What happened with Top Gear?

Re:Good News / Bad News (5, Informative)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | about a year ago | (#42897317)

They apparently fudged a test of the vehicle to make it seem like it went from having a decent charge to being completely dead within a very short timeframe. I think it was Clarkson driving, and he gave a very bad review of the car.

Re:Good News / Bad News (5, Informative)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year ago | (#42897327)

Pretty much the same thing. They implied that the car could break down inside its range and showed the staff pushing a functional car back to the garage.

Re:Good News / Bad News (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897573)

Actually I watched that show, what they claimed was that at a track (where one might want to drive the roadster) while driving at track speeds you get very little range. Which is probably true since it is true of gas cars as well. The difference being the refueling time.

There is no doubt that they sensationalized the filming of it, as they do (this is top gear after all)... but the point Clarkson made was that you got a very short amount of track time out of a car that is really built for the track, followed by having to recharge rather than just gas up.

Re:Good News / Bad News (5, Informative)

ThePiMan2003 (676665) | about a year ago | (#42897371)

Top Gear had a pre-scripted show, where they decided in the end that the Tesla would run out of power, so they had a shot of their people pushing the car, even though it still had plenty of power in its batteries. Top Gear claimed it was OK doing this, because they were showing something that could happen, even though it didn't.

Re:Good News / Bad News (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897433)

RTFA, but basically they wrote a scripted event showing the car running out of energy prior to actually testing the car. Tesla found out about it when Top Gear left a copy of the script while the car was being tested.

Re:Good News / Bad News (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#42897319)

The blog entry explains that the logging is not done on consumer vehicles without prior consent,

And, as we've all learned from EULA's and ToS', that prior consent is always willfully and knowingly given, right? FWIW, the Tesla Corp. is not the group I'm concerned about having access to my driving data.

but that this is always turned on for the press, after Tesla was scammed by Top Gear.

Anyone who thinks the electric car maker was "scammed" by Top Gear has obviously never watched Top Gear - Jeremy hates those things, and he's not afraid to let the world know.

Re:Good News / Bad News (5, Insightful)

Ossifer (703813) | about a year ago | (#42897419)

Being that you actually have to turn this feature on yourself, I'd say that amounts to prior consent...

The Top Gear scam, as admitted by Top Gear's producers, was that they had already decided on the result AND written the script before receiving the vehicles. Yes, it's entertainment, yes I love the show too, and yes, Tesla's response wasn't the greatest (lawsuit subsequently thrown out for legal technicalities despite judge confirming intentional lies by Top Gear), but come on they were presenting a review as if it was a result of testing, not of scripting...

Re:Good News / Bad News (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#42897521)

Being that you actually have to turn this feature on yourself, I'd say that amounts to prior consent...

Yea, ok, I can buy that. Point conceded.

The Top Gear scam, as admitted by Top Gear's producers, was that they had already decided on the result AND written the script before receiving the vehicles. Yes, it's entertainment, yes I love the show too, and yes, Tesla's response wasn't the greatest (lawsuit subsequently thrown out for legal technicalities despite judge confirming intentional lies by Top Gear), but come on they were presenting a review as if it was a result of testing, not of scripting...

I still maintain that anyone who watches Top Gear regularly already knew it was a rigged game.

Re:Good News / Bad News (1)

Ossifer (703813) | about a year ago | (#42897621)

> I still maintain that anyone who watches Top Gear regularly already knew it was a rigged game.

Ok, I guess I'm a bit naive then. I still watch Top Gear, which is very entertaining and funny, but when they seriously talk about having tested the vehicles, show them being driven around the test track, etc., I *still* feel like these are probably accurate reviews, despite my knowledge about the Tesla scam...

Re:Good News / Bad News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897507)

Jeremy hates those things, and he's not afraid to let the world know

Finally, a decent excuse for dishonesty and the blatant fiction Top Gear serves to their viewers every week. Why can't we have dishonest television in the States? Oh, wait...

Re:Good News / Bad News (1)

Loughla (2531696) | about a year ago | (#42897557)

If you watch a nationally, and internationally lauded show that is intended as entertainment and expect to be able to use the results as a review/in place of research, then the fault is yours, my friend. And that rule applies to any show, not just Top Gear.

It's entertainment, remember that.

Re:Good News / Bad News (0)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year ago | (#42897577)

Why can't we have dishonest television in the States?

Apparently because our newspapers have a monopoly on that.

Re:Good News / Bad News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897455)

They weren't scammed by top gear, Tesla whined semantics about the nature of the breakdown, but the fact of the matter is that Tesla's own technician signed off on the brake being broken on the wheel.

Re:Good News / Bad News (1)

Ossifer (703813) | about a year ago | (#42897545)

Semantics of a breakdown?! There was NO breakdown whatsoever--it was scripted! They pushed a car with a solid charge around!

Brake was not broken--fuse that supplied brake *assistance* failed. Brakes still worked. Tesla admitted extreme driving could cause the fuse failure, and has since redesigned it.

Re:Good News / Bad News (1)

hax0r (29263) | about a year ago | (#42897601)

Yeah, Top Gear's open disdain for electric vehicles makes it hard to watch sometimes... along with their ever-present homophobia, misogyny, and racism.

Not exactly a secret (4, Insightful)

localroger (258128) | about a year ago | (#42897251)

Tesla monitors cars remotely now to warn owners who are in danger of bricking the batteries by not keeping them charged. And while you might ask whether you can trust them not to monitor where you go if you buy a car from them, you should certainly expect them to use the capability if it's THEIR test car and you're writing a review of it.

Re:Good News / Bad News (-1, Flamebait)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#42897361)

The bad news is, your car can and will tattle on you.

If Tesla is only keeping tabs on reporters, then it sounds like that's entirely justified. Should they have warned him that he has no privacy while driving the car they loaned him specifically to report to the world about it? I don't know. In this specific case, I'm guessing he simply would have found other ways to tarnish Tesla's reputation. They may have actually, it sounds like John Broder is incredibly stupid.

If Tesla is keeping tabs on consumers, then that's definitely a bigger sin than Broder lying through his teeth. Any proof they do this for everyone? I'd be more likely to believe they only do it if you're driving THEIR car which they loaned you for a test drive for you to report truthfully on. Probably not safe to just assume they respect your privacy more than your cell phone company does though.

Sadly, it is solid evidence against him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897229)

It gets old when we see so many on the far right wing scream about the MSM when in fact, they are under reporting things, not over reporting.
But now, you have a CAR reporter who cheated for some odd reason. It could be because he was on the take. Or it could be because he needed a story. Regardless, Border needs to go. He has no integrity.

Re:Sadly, it is solid evidence against him. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897321)

Regardless, Border needs to go. He has no integrity.

Sounds like he fits right in at nyt

Re:Sadly, it is solid evidence against him. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#42897385)

Some people just harbor plain old pointless hatred of electric cars. Maybe it's one of those "people who fear new technology" sort of things.

The only thing I have against EV's is the charging time and battery issues.

Re:Sadly, it is solid evidence against him. (1)

serbanp (139486) | about a year ago | (#42897595)

The only thing I have against EV's is the charging time and battery issues.

... and the horrible range per selling price ratio.

Re:Sadly, it is solid evidence against him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897677)

The only thing I have against EV's is the charging time and battery issues.

What else would there be to complain about? Isn't the battery the entire issue?

Re:Sadly, it is solid evidence against him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897457)

Huh? you might want to rethink that right wing crap. NY Times has proven to be very left-wing centric in reporting what they call news...Maybe you should just rethink anything remotely news as the vast majority of "News" place are highly left wing...Most news reporters these days have no integrity, left or right...

Don't be too quick to pass judgement on this one.. (-1, Troll)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | about a year ago | (#42897255)

Jalopnik called the tow truck company, and they confirmed that not only was the car out of charge, and not only did they need to leave the car on the charger for an extended time because it was so low on charge, but that they were on the phone with a Tesla employee in California, as the electric parking brake was locked, and wouldn't allow the vehicle to move onto the flatbed.

http://jalopnik.com/towing-company-the-nyt-tesla-model-s-was-dead-when-it-196100064 [jalopnik.com]

Now, this very well could be the NYT reporting being in bed with the tow truck company, metaphorically speaking, but I think there's more to this than Musk wants to let on.

Re:Don't be too quick to pass judgement on this on (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897325)

That was never an issue. The issue was that Broder did not charge it fully and then ran it down. IOW, the tow truck driver is simply confirming what everybody agrees on.

Re:Don't be too quick to pass judgement on this on (0)

moogied (1175879) | about a year ago | (#42897365)

Sorry but a tow truck company is not a credible source for anything. Additionally that story contradicts itself. The vehicle coasted on a freeway off-ramp but then become unmovable once stopped? ..did I miss a step somewhere?

Re:Don't be too quick to pass judgement on this on (2)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#42897439)

The vehicle coasted on a freeway off-ramp but then become unmovable once stopped? ..did I miss a step somewhere?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but from reading the post above, I'm guessing you missed the part where he put the parking brake on?

Re:Don't be too quick to pass judgement on this on (2)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year ago | (#42897373)

When you're citing a Gawker Media site as a reference, please forgive me if my opinion is not swayed.

Re:Don't be too quick to pass judgement on this on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897401)

tow truck companies - the most ethical of people on the planet

Re:Don't be too quick to pass judgement on this on (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897435)

Musk is not claiming that the car still had a charge. If you RTFS you'd see that the accusation is that the reporter purposely did not charge the car and that is why it ran out of electricity. This occurred after behavior was logged that appeared to indicate an attempt to drive the car in circles in a parking lot until it died. When that failed, it was minimally charged and driven until it died on the road. Assuming the Tesla data is accurate, it doesn't disagree with your claims from the tow company and there's no reason to think there's anything more to it than what Musk describes.

Re:Don't be too quick to pass judgement on this on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897445)

How would a tow truck driver know a Model S was out of charge? Most tow truck drivers can't even chew gum and drive at the same time.

Re:Don't be too quick to pass judgement on this on (5, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#42897447)

Read the blog post, it takes 2 minutes. He did run out of charge, in fact he KNEW he was going to run out of charge because he took a 61 mile drive with a 32 mile reading on the charge indicator. During that drive he drove past several charging stations.

He also drove around in circles in a parking lot trying to make it run out of juice at one point.

The writer had an agenda, and he should have known they would log the data and prove him a liar. Musk was incensed by the Top Gear article and proclaimed that he would never let a journalist have a car without logging enabled.

Frankly the writer of the article should be fired, this evidence is very damning.

Re:Don't be too quick to pass judgement on this on (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#42897491)

Having the brake default to "on" when the battery is dead is a safety engineering issue. Just like in a truck you need air pressure to take the brakes OFF, not to apply them. If the battery fails and the emergency brake is the only thing keeping a car parked on a hill, you want the car to stay where it is. Now I will agree that there is probably a need for some sort of "manual release" that can be used by towing companies.

Re:Don't be too quick to pass judgement on this on (4, Informative)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year ago | (#42897599)

The brake isn't held on or off by electric power, because that would be illegal.

What happens is that a surprisingly small electric motor (about the size of an electric window motor) tensions up the perfectly ordinary mechanical handbrake mechanism through a screw jack. The friction of the screw is sufficient to stop the tension in the brake cables slackening it off.

This is pretty common on cars now, for some reason. I think they're fairly horrible to use and make hill starts difficult.

Re:Don't be too quick to pass judgement on this on (5, Informative)

_bug_ (112702) | about a year ago | (#42897497)

That Jalopnik article has since been updated, pointing out how both Musk and Broder could be correct.

UPDATE: A source who has seen the data logs explains how it's possible how Broder and Musk could both be truthful but sort of wrong. The high-voltage battery in the pack, allegedly, had enough power to move the car a much greater distance than needed to move the car onto a flatbed, maybe as far as five miles, but the 12V battery that powers the accessories and gets its juice from the high voltage battery shut down when Broder pulled into the service station.

When Broder decided to turn the car off, which was a mistake, the parking brake (operated by the 12V battery) was rendered unusable. If Broder was told not to turn the car off, it's his mistake. If Tesla told him to do it, or didn't inform him he shouldn't do it, then it's their mistake.

Don't speed in a Tesla. (-1, Troll)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year ago | (#42897273)

Musk will print your driving log, and you'll end up getting traffic tickets in the mail.

Mr. Broder: you got served! (5, Funny)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#42897305)

But, I bet that oil company envelope he got under the table will make his humiliation more palatable.

Re:Mr. Broder: you got served! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897581)

But, I bet that oil company envelope he got under the table will make his humiliation more palatable.

You're a conspiracy theorist.

A Good Story (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897313)

Why let facts get in the way of a good story?

Anyone who is surprised to see this from a newspaper shouldn't be. They aren't in the business of telling the news - they're in the business of selling papers and putting advertising in front of eyeballs.

Unfortunately.

hey, my engine is pinging! (5, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#42897315)

not to worry, sir, its normal. please type 'ifconfig' and read back its contents for me and I'll check on its next-hop adjacency while you do that.

Sorry, no (3, Funny)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#42897347)

John Broder works for the New York Times. They don't lie. Who do you trust more, a legitimate journalist or a corporate CEO? Seriously, people.

Re:Sorry, no (5, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year ago | (#42897473)

This is a trick question, right? Well, of course it is, you called a reporter for the NYT a legitimate journalist...which of course he is, in the fine tradition of Jayson Blair and Walter Duranty.

Re:Sorry, no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897481)

Are you serious?

Re:Sorry, no (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897511)

A corporate CEO who has data to back his claims.

Re:Sorry, no (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about a year ago | (#42897515)

Are you seriously claiming that "legitimate journalists" never lie? Hm, you must be funning us. heh heh well done, you had me going there for a second.

Re:Sorry, no (3, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year ago | (#42897583)

"the New York Times. They don't lie" I think there is a bit of misplaced faith here. I would be wary of trusting *any* American news source, even one as famous as the New York Times.

Aside from potential dishonesty, the NYT employs reporters who routinely fail to have experts check their statements. Just read through the "Technology" section if you want examples (the most extreme examples can be found there). Like most American media, the NYT is desperate to get their story out there before their competitors; double checking facts and ensuring accurate statements are secondary objectives in the best case.

Re:Sorry, no (2)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | about a year ago | (#42897591)

In this case one should trust the data. The CEO publishing said data knows his product, and that positive test cases are repeatable.

Gotta side with Tesla here.

(take THAT Mr Edison. ;)

I trust data (1)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#42897611)

John Broder works for the New York Times. They don't lie.

While the NYT might have a well deserved reputation for quality reporting, it does not follow that employees of that organization never lie or that they never get the facts wrong. I've personally had a reporter from a regional paper do a hatchet job on me when I was a high school athlete based on some joking comments I made. If you think reporters (including those at the NYT) do not approach stories with biases you are being very naive.

Who do you trust more, a legitimate journalist or a corporate CEO?

False dilemma. I trust data. If the journalist can back up his reporting with data and a logical narrative then I will believe him. If he cannot then I will not. Right now we have quite a lot of data on the side of Tesla and rather little from the journalist aside from his narrative. Reporters are not to be trusted any more than anyone else and there are countless examples of reporters tinkering with the "facts" in pursuit of a good story. They provide information but you have to decide if the information is credible.

NYT is not perfect (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897625)

Disgraced NYT writers:
Science writer Jonah Lehrer - plagiarism.
Jayson Blair - plagiarism and fabrication of facts.

There are a few more but I'm at work right now. Whether the writers are staff or free-lancers it's irrelevant - the editors should be thorough in grilling their own writers for facts and accuracies. They're supposed to be the gate-keepers.

Why would Broder lie? Who knows. Maybe personal fame for "calling out" a big company, so he can be contracted to write for other organizations. If it was a positive review, it would come off as an ad, and people would forget about it.

People typically remember "investigative" journalism - hit pieces where someone has done wrong. Articles where things go right are often forgotten and delegated to Readers' Digest. Nobody wants to be known for writing "soft" pieces (also known as "fluff").

Re:Sorry, no (2)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#42897651)

Neither to be honest but in this case I'll give the CEO my trust. By calling him out he'll have to make sure he's telling the truth or it could cause him serious problems. Where as nothing will happen to the journalist for lying.

The logs don't lie (5, Insightful)

talexb (223672) | about a year ago | (#42897349)

Musk was smart -- the logs don't lie, and they don't jibe with what the reporter said. Now, this was in print, in the new York Times -- I'd be fascinated to have seen the same story reported with in-car cameras. I have a funny feeling it would turn out differently.

And for Top Gear to film a bunch of people pushing the Tesla they were test-driving -- implying that it had run out of go, when in fact it still had some juice left -- that's just rotten. Entertaining TV, but crummy journalism, and cheap.

Re:The logs don't lie (3, Informative)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about a year ago | (#42897691)

Top Gear hasn't been journalism for years, it's entertainment pure and simple - the shows are entirely scripted.

Who killed the electric car? (4, Insightful)

bruce_the_moose (621423) | about a year ago | (#42897377)

Ten years ago it was the car companies, now it's the automotive press that seems determined to hasten its demise. Sad.

Re:Who killed the electric car? (0)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#42897475)

Ten years ago it was the car companies, now it's the automotive press that seems determined to hasten its demise. Sad.

The electric car died when the first usable ICE cars appeared. Every attempt to resurrect it has been a dismal failure because it still suffers from all the faults that made ICE cars vastly superior.

One day we may have electric cars powered by fusion reactors that only need you to tip a liter of water into the fuel tank every year, but until then they'll continue to suck just as they did a hundred years ago.

Re:Who killed the electric car? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897501)

Keep in mind that no fewer than 2 mainstream automobile magazines chose the Tesla Model S as "Car of the Year"

And they have better reputations than the New York Times...

Re:Who killed the electric car? (0)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#42897533)

The Volt was also the 'Car of the Year' in at least one or two magazines. Didn't help it much.

Heck, car magazines rated the Fiat 500 'Car of the Year' and it's one of the worst cars I've ever driven. About the best I could say about it is that it's better than a Kia.

Lawyers must be happy (-1, Flamebait)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#42897399)

I hope they sue the NY Times AND the reporter for libel, because this is what it is. Finally someone designs a mass market electric car with plenty of speed and range, and they get stuck with a fucking liar with his own agenda. The car may be nowhere near perfect, but it's certainly good enough. Once it's produced in quantity I'm sure tweaks will be made. But if this project dies before it's born, we won't see another one till the next billionaire comes along.

"journalistic integrity" (1, Interesting)

Megane (129182) | about a year ago | (#42897425)

We assumed that the reporter would be fair and impartial, as has been our experience with The New York Times, an organization that prides itself on journalistic integrity.

AHAHAHAHAAAA that's a good one! They think they're better than everyone else and certainly haven't had any journalistic integrity regarding politics (being clearly biased for years now), so why would you expect it for a vehicle review?

In his own words in an article published last year, this is how Broder felt about electric cars before even seeing the Model S:

"Yet the state of the electric car is dismal, the victim of hyped expectations, technological flops, high costs and a hostile political climate.”

Too bad about that, but at least you zinged him back real good. Orbital high-five good.

Theory (5, Insightful)

Qrypto (462155) | about a year ago | (#42897441)

Theory: Broder didn't realize the logging capabilities of the car, and when the Model S' software ui initially supported his internal baises he took liberties with the truth. By "documenting" his experience through Tesla support he attempted to falsely add credence to what would be a traffic generating, "anti-electric" review masked in the journalistic repute of the NYT.

Firstly, all of Broder's excessive winging about the cold weather (I think) was designed to subtly imply that the Model S doesn't work in the cold. You future buyer, will be cold and your car will break. This is why Musk had to address the cold weather link directly in the evidence blog posting.

Secondly. Broder likely couldn't have fathomed that every parameter in the car was being logged. Very specific details add credibility and character to a story. They make the author appear diligent, and one who gives great attention to detail. In the past such details were a "literary tool used to bend the story. Now thanks to data driven engineering words and truth in such matters should align more closely.

Lastly. For a man who may or may not have a bias against electric vehicles (cars at least), the observation that "the estimated range was falling faster than miles were accumulating" at the outset of the author's journey might have set the tone of the coming review. With all the incessant calls to Tesla support to document all the "trouble", Broder had plenty of documentation to support his (what was IMHO a) journalistic malignment. This angle also had the added benefit of generating views for NYT - plus through the courtesy of Tesla arranging a tow - the money shot.

I hope NYT has the ethical chops to do what they must.

(comment posted first at http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5220302 [ycombinator.com] )

OMG Top Gear lies?!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897465)

Top Gear is a shameless proponent of everything that electric vehicles have to overcome in the marketplace. The devotion to 'performance' in the 1/4 mile, invidious comparison, conspicuous consumption and the glorification of the automobile as a status symbol (see #2) are Top Gear's raison d' etre. If Musk wanted a favorable review, he obviously forgot to guarantee hookers and booze at the end of the 'test drive.'

That's it in a nutshell (as we all know TV to be).

Re:OMG Top Gear lies?!! (0)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#42897505)

Uh, electric cars tend to have very good acceleration because of the high torque available from electric motors, so I'd guess they get pretty good 1/4 mile times. It's everything else that sucks.

1 Hour of Recharging every 200 miles? (0)

C R Johnson (141) | about a year ago | (#42897479)

Is nothing to be proud of.

The electric car thing will never work until the power can be taken from the road. Like slot cars.

Re:1 Hour of Recharging every 200 miles? (3, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | about a year ago | (#42897659)

That's a recharge every three hours. Given that drivers are recommended to take a break every two hours, it's not so unreasonable as long as there is a rapid recharge point to take a break at. But yes, it's not like refilling at a gas station.

Re:1 Hour of Recharging every 200 miles? (1)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | about a year ago | (#42897695)

Really?

I have a 45-minute commute, which is nothing to sneeze at. This car would easily work for that.

Musk isn't doing himself any favors here (-1)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about a year ago | (#42897493)

From TFA:

Cruise control was never set to 54 mph as claimed in the article, nor did he limp along at 45 mph. Broder in fact drove at speeds from 65 mph to 81 mph for a majority of the trip and at an average cabin temperature setting of 72 F.

At the point in time that he claims to have turned the temperature down, he in fact turned the temperature up to 74 F.

The charge time on his second stop was 47 mins, going from -5 miles (reserve power) to 209 miles of Ideal or 185 miles of EPA Rated Range, not 58 mins as stated in the graphic attached to his article. Had Broder not deliberately turned off the Supercharger at 47 mins and actually spent 58 mins Supercharging, it would have been virtually impossible to run out of energy for the remainder of his stated journey.

Let me get this straight: I can't drive 65 or turn up the heat without having to worry about getting stranded? It takes an hour to refill the thing, and I have to do it three times to drive 600 miles?

Why the fuck would I ever want to buy one of these cars?

Re:Musk isn't doing himself any favors here (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#42897589)

My thoughts exactly. Elon Musk is just making sure we all know that they have computer logs confirming that their cars have limitations and should not be considered a direct replacement for a cheaper more consumer friendly ICE based automobile. Think of it as a more expensive golf cart.

Re:Musk isn't doing himself any favors here (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897631)

From TFA:

Cruise control was never set to 54 mph as claimed in the article, nor did he limp along at 45 mph. Broder in fact drove at speeds from 65 mph to 81 mph for a majority of the trip and at an average cabin temperature setting of 72 F.

    At the point in time that he claims to have turned the temperature down, he in fact turned the temperature up to 74 F.

  The charge time on his second stop was 47 mins, going from -5 miles (reserve power) to 209 miles of Ideal or 185 miles of EPA Rated Range, not 58 mins as stated in the graphic attached to his article. Had Broder not deliberately turned off the Supercharger at 47 mins and actually spent 58 mins Supercharging, it would have been virtually impossible to run out of energy for the remainder of his stated journey.

Let me get this straight: I can't drive 65 or turn up the heat without having to worry about getting stranded? It takes an hour to refill the thing, and I have to do it three times to drive 600 miles?

Why the fuck would I ever want to buy one of these cars?

I enjoy the above post where you assume that just because you drive 600 miles all the time everyone else must as well thus this car could never work for anyone.... well played.

Re:Musk isn't doing himself any favors here (5, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year ago | (#42897635)

You drive 600mi often? The car is not for you.

Millions of people drive less than 100km a day. The car's for them.

The pathetic complaint that the range is low is funny, because the vast majority of people never make use of the maximum range of their car. If you do, good for you! Just keep using a gas guzzler and shut up.

Re:Musk isn't doing himself any favors here (4, Insightful)

preaction (1526109) | about a year ago | (#42897641)

If you have to regularly drive 600 miles, you don't. That's 8-10 hours of driving though, with no breaks. You sure you wouldn't mind an hour layover or two?

Re:Musk isn't doing himself any favors here (2)

characterZer0 (138196) | about a year ago | (#42897667)

Not everybody has your driving habits. You may not want to drive one. But they are perfectly fine for many people.

Re:Musk isn't doing himself any favors here (5, Informative)

hattig (47930) | about a year ago | (#42897689)

Read the linked story. That was just one of the lies Musk alleges the journalist wrote. The reason the journalist got stranded was because he didn't charge the car enough to actually do the intended journey. That's like putting a gallon of gas into a car to drive 100 miles.

"Gray lady" ain't what she used to be (3, Insightful)

david.emery (127135) | about a year ago | (#42897559)

This is not the first story that calls into question the NY Times accuracy/impartiality on tech related news stories.

Scary Implications (-1, Flamebait)

JWW (79176) | about a year ago | (#42897575)

What scares me about this is:

How much is Tesla implying that the customer is using the car wrong?

Are we really looking at Terms of Service about how you are going to use an automobile you purchased? I know this was a media test drive, but what's to stop Telsa from using their diagnostics to throw you under the bus for speeding if you complain about running out of juice in a remote location "if the customer had been operating the car properly it wouldn't have run out of charge."

Are Tesla owners getting a nanny that will monitor their driving habits and tsk tsk at them when less than optimal driving results and range happen?

I understand the car is very complex, but in the real world stuff happens and you can't assume the conditions or even the actions of the driver are going to be optimal.

I love DATA! (3, Insightful)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about a year ago | (#42897615)

Not a day goes by that some one says "I did this" or "I did that" and the end result is "I didn't work". Yet going back to a nice log file in fact shows "you didn't do that" and "you actually did this, causing your issue". I'm not sure when people will learn that you cannot lie about what you did when everything you do is logged, but its awesome to point it out when they flat out do and you have the evidence.

NYT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897633)

NYT is the paper where if the reporters aren't making news up whole-cloth then they are probably just uncritically repeating government propaganda. I wonder what they would have to do to lose their reputation as the world's best daily? Even Judith Miller still works as a journalist. Apparently, nobody gives a damn.

The Post Office was doing great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897649)

The Post Office was doing great until someone made a plan for them switch to electric vehicles.

All of the sudden a bill was pushed through that they had to pre-fund their pensions for complete coverage 75 years in advance [cnbc.com] and now they're eliminating weekend delivery.

All I'm saying is, the folks at Tesla need to watch their backs.

When the baleful eyes of the oil barons fall on you, well... Sauron has nothing on them.

run it dry (3)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | about a year ago | (#42897665)

"Instead of plugging in the car, he drove in circles for over half a mile in a tiny, 100-space parking lot. When the Model S valiantly refused to die, he eventually plugged it in."

Wow. That's pretty damning right there.

In today's world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42897701)

When the mud flies, it's a matter of determining who has the most reality on their side. If indeed the tesla folks have logs that prove that what was written was wrong, but a fat out lie, then maybe the tesla folks have ground for a lawsuit, dunno. However, I do know that in times like the ones that we live in, it's important to take into consideration the fact that the only thing stopping a new way of living, for us all, aka progress, is to lie about what's emerging. So that can only really mean that the folks at tesla have a good product that has their competitors freaking the fuck out.

just my .02

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