Referring to a "pretty unreasonable" recent article lambasting his car company for utilizing batteries of poor quality, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk vehemently struck back at the New York Times via CNBC Newsline on Monday.
"Essentially, we think the article was something of a 'set-up," Musk told CNBC. "I don't want to paint the whole New York Times as being problematic. But I do think this writer of this particular article is really misleading."
The New York Times published an article by blogger John M. Broder on Friday whose headline, "Stalled Out on Tesla's Electric Highway," pretty much says it all.
The brashly negative automobile review launched off of an offer by Musk to test drive an electric Tesla vehicle along the newly electrified Interstate 95.
After setting up the reader to understand that the 85 kilowatt-hour Model S has "has won multiple car-of-the-year awards and is, many reviews would have you believe, the coolest car on the planet," Broder quickly jibes of the trip, "What fun, no? Well, no."
Broder's article devolves into one man's horrific roadway nightmare as his car's battery continues to falter amidst the blustery weather.
"All the while, my feet were freezing and my knuckles were turning white," wrote Broder in a screed that goes on for nearly 2000 words, basically blaming Tesla for integrating a battery in its car that can't live up to necessary standards during cold weather.
Firing back at what he's calling a "bogus" cavil, Musk - who aside from being Tesla's CEO is also the co-founder of both PayPal and space transport company SpaceX - told CNBC that, "When we downloaded our vehicle logs after the test drive, it showed that in fact he had not charged up to the maximum charge in the car.
"Essentially, it's like starting off a drive with a tank that's not full. And then, instead of driving to the next supercharger location, there was an extended detour through Manhattan. And it also showed that at times he was driving very fast: In some cases, ten miles or more above the speed limit. When you drive really fast, the range really decreases."
Musk continued that with these factors - against which he claimed to have "explicitly warned" the driver before the test drive - in mind, the skewed findings of the reporter in question are to be expected.
"You can't do these things," said Musk.
"Any suggestion that the account was 'fake' is, of course, flatly untrue," said a statement in response to Musk on the part of the New York Times.
"Our reporter followed the instructions he was given in multiple conversations with Tesla personnel. 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."