We've never quite understood the strategy of electric automaker Tesla to sue the BBC and Top Gear
because of an episode that involved a Tesla roadster, which the Top Gear crew mocked, at one point claiming it only got 55 miles before the batteries ran out of juice. This was a marginally amusing segment on a show that's known for tossing around a (somewhat joking) insult or six about lots of cars. In other words, no big deal. Except to Tesla -- and specifically its founder, Elon Musk, who lashed out angrily about the show and then sued for "libel" over the episode. Apparently that strategy failed even faster than a Tesla battery* and did so twice. After having the first lawsuit tossed out, an amended lawsuit met the same fate
with the judge saying that the claims were "not capable of being defamatory at all, or, if it is, it is not capable of being a sufficiently serious defamatory meaning to constitute a real and substantial tort." In other words, go away.
The thing is, I can't see how this made any sense at all. Most people would have just moved on, but by suing it seems to only call more attention to the original claims and generate much more interest in that episode. If Tesla had just let it go and focused on, you know, building great cars, no one would have cared much about a jokey comment from a TV show.
* This, too, is a joke, so don't sue me for making a joke about your batteries. I'm actually a big fan of Tesla and am eagerly looking forward to the company's future models which look pretty damn cool.