Earlier this month, a New York Times review of the Tesla Model S claimed that the all-electric car ran out of battery power faster than expected on a test drive from Washington, D.C. to Boston.
The review sparked an uproar from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who stood behind the Model S, saying that the test driver didn’t fully charge the car and took a long detour. Now Musk claims the bad review has cost Tesla $100 million.
Musk told Reuters that a few hundred buyers cancelled their orders for the Model S because of the New York Times review, and that the company’s stock shares dropped 13 percent. “Between $100 million and $200 million of Tesla's drop in market value was due to the Times article,” Musk told Reuters.
The EPA estimates the Model S can travel 265 miles on a fully-charged 85 kW-hr battery (208 miles with the 60 kW-hr battery). CNBC’s Phil LeBeau recreated The New York Times’ test drive of the Model S from D.C. to Boston. After LeBeau finished his one-day drive last Tuesday, he tweeted, “The Model S delivered what @elonmusk promised. A ride to make you re-think going electric.” LeBeau’s 445-mile trip to Boston included two stops to charge the Model S. The Times’ reporter’s Model S ran out of juice between the second charging station and Milford, Mass.
Tesla is running damage control because of the New York Times review. Musk wrote in an email to Reuters, “The Tesla team and I are brainstorming this week how to correct the misperception that they have created in the market about how well our car performs in cold weather.”
The Model S won Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year award, as well as Automobile Magazine’s 2013 Automobile of the Year honor. If you’re shopping for a new car, would one bad review cause you not to buy the car?
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