Friday, February 15, 2013
Tesla fails the test
As Elon Musk is finding out, it's now "Never pick a fight with anyone on the internet"
If you're not aware, New York Times reporter, John Broder recently drove a Tesla S from Washington, D.C. to Milford, Connecticut. Unfortunately the drive did not go as planned. What followed was a less than glowing story about the journey, a data-filled diatribe by Mr. Musk accusing the reporter of sabotaging the test, and the reporter's response to Musk's allegations.
Defending yourself is one thing. Providing data that supports your claims is okay. But questioning the integrity of the author of the complaint, whether it's a reporter for the New York Times or a songwriter from Canada will only result in the story growing and bad publicity expanding.
I don't know why the Tesla did not perform as the company's published data would lead you to expect, but I doubt very seriously that John Broder set out with the intent of trashing the car. After all, this is the New York Times, the "left-wing media elite" that its critics claim has a pro-government, anti-big business slant. You'd think they'd be all for an underdog entrepreneur like Elon Musk who's fighting big oil.
What I do know is that Mr. Musk's response is costing him. If he really believes the test was conducted unfairly, then offer to repeat it. Do it with three cars not just one. Prove them wrong.
Or if there's a problem, fix it.
Accusing your accuser of lying won't make the story go away.