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George Clooney Calls Tesla Unreliable and CEO Responds

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George Clooney

George Clooney

Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk is not happy that George Clooney said a Tesla Roadster sports car he once owned was unreliable. In an article titled “Elon Musk fires back after George Clooney disses the Tesla Roadster,” Shawn Langlois, writing for the MarketWatch blog The Margin, provides the details, saying that “like his Iron Man doppelganger,” Musk loves a good fight.

Langlois writes:

So when George Clooney referred to himself as “one of the first cats” to own a Tesla and told Esquire that he was “always stuck on the side of the bleeping road” in his Roadster, a response was just a matter of time.

And where else to launch a counterattack than on Twitter?

Langlois then shows Musk’s tweet, saying that Tesla fans immediately cheered it.

Elon Musk tweet

The Clooney interview in question appears in Esquire‘s December issue, in which interviewer Tom Junod asked the actor if he owns a Tesla. In an article appearing on Yahoo! Music, Reuters reports Clooney’s response:

‘I had a Tesla,’ Clooney told the magazine. ‘I was one of the first cats with a Tesla. I think I was, like, No. 5 on the list. But I’m telling you, I’ve been on the side of the road a while in that thing, and I said to them, “Look, guys, why am I always stuck on the side of the [expletive deleted] road? Make it work, one way or another.” ‘

Tesla discontinued the Roadster and currently only sells the Model S sedan. Clooney last year auctioned off his Roadster for charity for $99,000, according to media reports.

Last week, as Yahoo! notes, Tesla reported a third fire in a Tesla Model S sedan, this one in Tennessee. According to police reports, the car was damaged when it ran over a tow hitch, which punctured the armor plating that protects the lithium-ion battery pack. No injuries resulted from any of the three fires, Yahoo! reports.

In a Tesla Blog post, the driver of the car in the Tennessee fire, Dr. Juris Shibayama, said that after he hit the trailer hitch in the road, the car’s dashboard display warned him to pull over and signaled that the car was shutting down. The front of the car caught fire about two minutes after he got out, Shibayama writes. The flames never reached the passenger cabin, he says, and nothing inside the car was damaged. Shibayama ends his post with: “I would buy another one in a heartbeat.”

As this blog reported, the first Tesla Model S fire occurred in early October, in the Seattle area. The U.S. government was unable to investigate it at that time, as it was in shutdown. Tesla spokeswoman Liz Jarvis-Shean said the fire started when a large metal object in the road hit one of the car’s battery pack modules. CNNMoney reports that the second Tesla fire occurred in Mexico after its driver crashed into a concrete wall.

CNNMoney reports that, according to Tesla, there are approximately 19,000 Tesla Model S cars on the road worldwide. Consumer Reports gave the Tesla Model S its highest safety rating ever for a luxury sedan, as this blog reported.

In wrapping up his piece on the tiff between Clooney and Musk, The Margin’s Langlois notes that it is not likely Clooney will respond to Musk’s tweet, at least via Twitter, as:

…the former ‘sexiest man alive’ probably hasn’t even deigned to read it. ‘Why on God’s green earth would you be on Twitter?’ he said in the [Esquire] interview.

Image by Peter Kudlacz, used under its Creative Commons license.


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