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New York Times Tesla Article Questions Model S Performance; CEO Elon Musk Rebukes Piece

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Tesla's CEO Elon Musk said a New York Times review of its Model S contains false information; the news outlet denies the claims. In this June 22, 2012 Musk holds up a bottle of wine during a rally at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File) | AP File

A New York Times test-drive of the Tesla Model S has drawn a stinging rebuke from the electric car company's CEO Elon Musk, who labeled the review "fake" and said he had the data to prove it.

In the New York Times review, author John Broder sought to drive a car from Washington, D.C., to Boston. Along the way, he hit up the new charging stations Tesla installed on the East Coast and reported his take on the experience.

Spoiler alert: Broder's car runs out of energy prematurely, leaving him relient on a tow truck to seek additional juice. He concludes: "Theory can be trumped by reality, especially when Northeast temperatures plunge."

In response to the review, Tesla's Musk took to Twitter, stating the review was "fake." He based his claim on logs from the vehicle that allegedly indicated Broder's published report doesn't line up with reality. (Data logging is enabled for every media test drive.)

Elon Musk
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.

Though Musk promised to re-create the drive with other journalists, he tempered his initial rebuke of the New York Times tweeting, "Am not against NYTimes in general."

Elon Musk
Tesla blog coming soon detailing what actually happened on Broder's NYTimes "range test". Also lining up other journalists to do same drive.

The New York Times has since responded to Musk's accusation, issuing the following statement to CNBC:

Any suggestion that the account was 'fake' is, of course, flatly untrue... Our reporter followed the instructions he was given in multiple conversations with Tesla personnel. He described the entire drive in the story; there was no unreported detour. And he was never told to plug the car in overnight in cold weather, despite repeated contact with Tesla.

This dust-up with The New York Times comes nearly two years after Tesla filed suit against the BBC, claiming a "Top Gear" review of the Tesla Roadster contained "false and exaggerated criticisms."

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