Under attack from blogger, Tesla mistakenly strikes back

11 June 2016

Under attack from blogger, Tesla mistakenly strikes back

In response to a Daily Kanban article that put together posts from the Tesla Motors Club into a story about rusting suspension arms and what Tesla did (or perhaps did not do), Tesla Motors has not taken the high road. Instead, it's taken the a road its traveled down before, but this time with a churlish attitude. The much-watched automaker calls writer Edward Niedermeyer a "gentle soul" and then wonders aloud if his article was simply meant to mess with Tesla's stock price:

This is not the first time that Tesla has questioned a reporter for saying something negative about the automaker or its products. Back in 2013, remember, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that a review of the Model S inThe New York Times was "fake." The Times eventually admitted that the writer did not use his best judgement. And in 2011, Tesla sued Top Gear for staging a scene where a Model S ran out of energy. The case waseventually dismissed. The company also sometimes releases vehicle data to contradict things that drivers say, but in the Niedermeyer instance, the company made the mistake of going for an ad hominen attack instead. This bit of childishness leads Niedermeyer to be childish in response.

Niedermeyer has been sending out a lot of Tweets taking Tesla to task for getting things wrong. Like these:

Niedermeyer also Tweeted that he, does not "play the market long or short or professionally advise anyone who does." Of course, Tesla never actually, technically said that Niedermeyer did (or that he started the Tesla Death Watch). It just wondered aloud if he did (and that he was involved with the TDW). Which brings us again the question of tone. Other outlets are saying that with this response, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is channeling "his inner Trump." Business Insider said that, "accusing those critical of your business or accounting practices of merely being in it for the money is to miss the point of their exercise and invite further scrutiny." Which is obviously true. This is not the last we'll hear about this.

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