Paypal co-founder/insanely rich guy Elon Musk isn’t afraid to defend his far-out ideas, be they successfully marketing an electric automobile or convincing rich people to move to his future colony on Mars.
But can he fight back against what CNBC calls “Tesla’s PR #EpicFail“? His auto company’s latest electric car, the Model S, won Motor Trend‘s car of the year award among a wave of very positive reviews, but The New York Times auto critic John M. Broder‘s test drive didn’t go so well.
Despite being a “technical wonder”, the car ran out of juice in cold weather when its battery died and the writer, having no access to one of the company’s remote “Supercharger” stations, had to call a towing company. The Tesla brand’s stock took a hit, inspiring Musk to lash out on Twitter. The funniest part of this four-wheel drama? Not only did Musk pitch the story to the Times in the first place, he apparently called the critic to apologize for the experience and offer him a second test drive before calling him a liar in public.
NYTimes article about Tesla range in cold is fake. Vehicle logs tell true story that he didn’t actually charge to max & took a long detour.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 11, 2013
This is a strange damage control strategy, no?