Tesla says New York Times electric car review 'fake'

Tesla Model S saloon Tesla says its electric Model S has a range of up to 265 miles

Tesla Motors chief executive Elon Musk has branded a New York Times review of his company's electric saloon car as "fake".

The former Paypal and Space X founder took to Twitter to defend the Model S after the review said the car ran out of power sooner than expected during a test drive on a cold, winter's day.

"NYTimes article about Tesla range in cold is fake," Mr Musk tweeted.

The NYT defended its article, rebutting Mr Musk's claim as "flatly untrue".

Mr Musk claimed the reviewer did not charge the car fully and "took a long detour".

The NYT reviewer, John Broder, wrote that during the test drive from Washington DC to Connecticut, the power had drained sooner than expected, forcing him to turn down the heating and drive below the speed limit. The car had to be towed to a charging station, he said.

In a statement responding to Mr Musk's tweets, the NYT said Mr Broder's review "was completely factual, describing the trip as it occurred. Any suggestion that the account was 'fake' is, of course, flatly untrue".

The newspaper also said that "there was no unreported detour".

Tesla says the Model S has a range of up to 265 miles (426km) per charge and has sometimes managed more than 300 miles.

Mr Musk also tweeted that Tesla was preparing a blog "detailing what actually happened" and was "lining up other journalists to do the same drive".

The range of electric car batteries is known to shrink sometimes in cold weather, as industry experts have discovered.

This is not the first time Tesla has had a run-in with a media organisation.

Last year it failed in its attempt to sue the BBC's Top Gear having claimed libel and "malicious falsehood" following the TV programme's 2008 review of its Roadster model.

Tesla's share price fell 2% after the NYT article appeared on 8 February, but has risen 23.5% over the last 12 months.

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