Skip to content

Tesla Claims Hundreds of Orders Lost Due to NYT Review

February 25, 2013

By Cynthia Herbert :: 4:43 PM

Tesla battery drainedElectric car maker Tesla Motors claims that it has lost several hundred orders for its vehicles in the wake of a bad review in the New York Times a few weeks ago.

The controversial review was written after a New York Times journalist took an extended overnight test drive in the company’s Model S sedan. Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims that the reviewer did not follow Tesla’s instructions regarding how often and for how long to charge the car’s batteries during the trip.

“We did actually get a lot of cancellations as a result of The New York Times article. It probably affected us to the tune of tens of millions, to the order of $100 million, so it’s not trivial,” Musk told Bloomberg TV earlier today. “The thing I really thought was wrong is that we are looking at the data from the test drive and it does not correlate at all to the article that was written.”

The Times ran the review, “Stalled out on Tesla’s Electric Highway,” on February 10, and Musk immediately decried the article and called it a fake, debunking it point-by-point on the Tesla blog. The Times’ reporter has since offered a rebuttal to Musk’s complaints.

A group of seven Tesla owners attempted to recreate the trip from Washington D.C. to Connecticut a few days after the negative Times review was published, and none of those drivers had the same issues that the New York Times writer encountered.

For all of Musk’s complaining and rebutting, it is interesting to note that Tesla may not have all the kinks out just yet. Earlier today, Dan Edmunds of the Edmunds car testing website experienced problems with the electronic display on the Tesla S that he was putting through testing paces. His Tweet from this morning’s experience is below.