NYT Response to Tesla Concerns about Harsh Review
Tesla Model S Sedan.
The public feud between Tesla motors founder Elon Musk and a reviewer who published a harsh critique of the Model S sedan in the New York Times appears to have reached a resolution.
Last week, Musk published a blog and series of posts on Twitter to respond to some of the more scathing accusations made by journalist John Broder's review of the company's newest electric vehicle. Musk accused Broder of creating a situation in which the Model S never had a chance of succeeding during the test drive.
In a response to Musk's accusations, Margaret Sullivan, the public editor for the New York Times, wrote a blog on Monday (Feb. 18) explaining her stance on Broder's journalistic judgment during the test drive.
"Did he use good judgment along the way?" Sullivan wrote of Broder. "Not especially. In particular, decisions he made at a crucial juncture – when he recharged the Model S in Norwich, Conn., a stop forced by the unexpected loss of charge overnight – were certainly instrumental in this saga’s high-drama ending."
The Model S Broder drove eventually had to be transported using a flatbed truck when the car ran out of charge, but Musk maintains that the reviewer improperly managed the vehicle, leading to its malfunctions.
"In addition, Mr. Broder left himself open to valid criticism by taking what seem to be casual and imprecise notes along the journey, unaware that his every move was being monitored," Sullivan continued.
Tesla keeps data logs of test drives every time officials at the company send a car out with members of the media. Last week, Musk released logs recorded during Broder's test drive to refute claims the reviewer made in his story.
Musk seems pleased with Sullivan's take on the situation.
"Appreciate thoughtful @Sulliview article," wrote Musk from his Twitter account, @elonmusk on Monday. "Faith in @nytimes restored."