back to article Tesla Motors: Our cars don't burst into flame, but our emails do

Here at the Reg it's one of our editorial goals to live in peace and harmony with our fellow men and women, seeking merely to report the news with a minimum of stress and conflict and making the world a better and happier place thereby*. Thus it is with heavy heart once again that we find that our coverage has inadvertently …


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  1. LinkOfHyrule


    That company will fail anyway, hardly anyone at the moment wants electric cars and not all of the few who do have tons of money they can piss away on a Tesla anyway.

    If and when the public want/need electric the big players will kill the firm off anyway.

    hahaha stupid PR people!

    1. Hud Dunlap

      It won't fail.

      Based on what I have read here, the U.S. Gov't likes to keep giving the firm money for "research".

      Mines the one with the "we need a a third and fourth party" sign.

    2. Rex Alfie Lee
      Thumb Down

      LinkOfHyrule, you have NO understanding of your own stupidity...

      You have a right to your stupid remark but it is stupidity. Without Tesla there would be little in the way of development towards something real. The market has taken off because of Tesla's input into the electric car market. I'm not saying it wouldn't have happened but their investment has made the electric market a real competition. Why? Because they dared to build a sports car that was super fast & super cool & that made having an electric car a better option than just for the environment. They made electric cars cool. They virtually single-handedly created an industry. The Chevy Volt was built to prove that Chevrolet could do it better but they've failed so far. England have created a car that is better than the Tesla but built because of the Tesla's brilliance.

      The Reg does exaggerate regularly & they are a typical tech company with "journos" that are less than honest. Whilst I read their input there are several much better tech report companies around. Do you believe everything these people write. What do they actually know about tech other than what they've written down? Where's their engineering know-how? They write reports for you & I to make decisions about technology we write & if they write something like "40% of Tesla's will catch fire", then who is going to buy one? It is a lie & whilst they can sit back & pontificate how that's not what they stated, it is exactly what people glean from the message.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good response

    I think is this the first of Lewis's articles I've ever finished reading.

    Keep up the progress.

    1. koncordski

      What happened to the relations in PR?

      Why oh why can't these people (not just Tesla) resist getting stroppy at anything other than positive coverage. If their intention is to send out stuff like like this to correct mistakes and protect the brand then they fail by being total dicks about it! Funny though.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    She's right, you know

    by January this year, Tesla had sold 1000 Roadsters, of which 500 were 1.0s. So, more accurately:


    1. Martin 71 Silver badge

      Now now

      In what way is a resurgence of communism a bad thing? :-)

  4. Scott Mckenzie

    To be fair...

    ...she does have a point. I read the headline and felt pretty much the same as her with regard to the sensationalism of it.

    Sadly my email client doesn't have a flame mode, only Urgent.... so i didn't bother emailing.

    1. Jon Double Nice

      If your client lacks flame mode... can always use the little button just beneath tab on most keybords to MAKE YOUR EMAILS MORE SHOUTY.

      1. Oninoshiko

        you mean the

        control key?

    2. Munchausen's proxy

      To be more fair

      When you get right down to it, 100% of all cars might burst into flame.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        my thoughts exactly

        " To say that “40% of its Roadsters may catch fire” is ridiculous and hysterical even for The Reg.

        Ouch - blown off, again!"

        Yes, ridiculously low percentage there - let's try for 100%; shall we?

        And about the being blown does one go about getting that from a corporate mouthpiece?

  5. Steve Martins

    The significance of reactions

    Its funny, but the way in which a company reacts to journalism often has a much more profound impact on how the general public view them that does the musings of an individual hack...

    so when are you adding a spade and hole icon??!

  6. George Nacht

    My opinion only

    ...but if I can for once speak for the majority, then this lady´s reaction is not the best thing she could do for the PR.

  7. Ian McNee

    FoTW?? FTW!!!!!

    Sorry but that's a bit lame for FoTW. At no stage did our correspondent from Tesla:

    (i) call into question your parentage;

    (ii) include a sentence that if read aloud on daytime radio would be more *bleep* than wordiness;

    (iii) type so furiously as to lose all control of grammar and spelling.

    I rest my case.

    1. Code Monkey

      (iv) Sentence case



    2. wjake

      errr of course Flame!!

      Hello? THE CARS WERE CATCHING ON FIRE!! Of course it rates as Flame of the Week!!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I AGREE


    4. LaeMing


      corporate-sourced flames have to be judged by a different criteria than personal flames. The writer (if they still value their position) has a lot less scope for creative language.

      This PR hack needs to go back to Business Letter Writing for Beginners though - an effective business letter should always be worded in terms of benefit to the recieving party (something I didn't know until I was landed with teaching a Business Letter Writing for Beginners class back in '04 after which my own letter-writing results improved noticably!).

  8. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

    These are great

    She gets her point out, the Reg gets to be satisfyingly sarky about it and we get to stand around shouting "Fight! Fight!".

    Much more fun than "corrections and omissions" in the Guardian.

    1. Scorchio!!
      Thumb Up


      I bet she's a Grauniad reader.

  9. dotdavid


    That one backfired on the PR woman somewhat spectacularly.

    But I'm curious - where in the Corporate PR Handbook does it say "write an angry email to a publication that disagrees with you, as they will invariably deal with it in a fair, balanced and confidential manner rather than plaster it on their front page and deconstruct it line by line making you out to be a snivelling whining idiot"? ;)

  10. Anonymous Coward

    be fair...

    she hasn't turned to the dark side, she's just increased the amount of bullshit she writes.

  11. Colin Millar
    Thumb Up

    Can we have a list...........

    .....of your editorial goals in priority order?

    Or maybe a competition for us commentards to guess them

    1) Increase the beer

    2) Never miss your train home

    3) Run as many iStories as possible and then sit back and watch the fanbois feeding frenzy

    4) Don't feed the freetrads


    1. S Larti
      Thumb Up

      excellent idea!

      I thought that

      * Admittedly this particular goal is well down the priorities list below most of our other editorial goals.

      Was the finest bootnote seen in many lunchtimes of Reg reading.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Only doing her job..

    According to her linked in profile ( "..I'm a no-nonsense international communications professional... I generate enormous, positive publicity around the world ... You can see my work on Facebook and Web sites, in printed marketing collateral, blogs, news releases and Powerpoint presentations to high-stakes audiences."

    Sounds like someone not to be messing with - we've seen the wrath/positive-publicity she can inflict by email, its a brave man that risks being on the receiving end of one of her Powerpoint presentations. Not only that, she used to be a senior writer at CNET

    1. adrianww


      ...she didn't include "silly bugger who doesn't know when it's best to keep her trap shut" or possibly "doesn't understand that reporting 40% as 40% is bang-on accurate" in that profile then.

      Oh well, that's international PR flacks at stupendously silly companies for you.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Only doing her job.

      In the light of that, we should be grateful that she went to the phenomenal trouble of sending anything at all by way of response to the article.

      It must be hellish difficult to type anything when you're that far up your own arse.

    3. Intractable Potsherd

      Can you really ...

      ... count giving Powerpoint presentations as a skill worthy of trumpeting? No wonder I haven't been getting any job interviews lately - I don't have Powerpoint delivery skills in my CV at all.

  13. Alan Bourke

    I saw a Tesla roadster

    punch a baby.

    1. Jerome 0


      Has the Tesla Roadster stopped beating its wife yet?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As if anyone cares.

    You know what befuddles me about these tesla roadster thingies ...

    For a few miles, the battery will give you a very nice, satisfying shove in the back.

    However, the severe drain on the battery surely means that on the return journey, it is you that has to take the turn of shoving the roadster in the back ... only progress that way is a lot, lot slower.

    Nice car, shame about the practicality.

  15. teacake

    There I was...

    ...just wondering whatever happened to FoTW, and what do I see? Hello old friend.

    Not a patch of flames of old though. Not nearly enough spittle.

  16. SlackerUK

    Having just read her LinkedIn profile...

    She writes...

    "I generate enormous, positive publicity around the world for world's most disruptive company"

    Congrats Reg on becoming the worlds most disruptive company!!

  17. oldredlion


    needs more swears.

    No wonder she gave up journalism, with her pitiful grasp of (olde) english.

  18. Geoff Campbell


    A hit, a palpable hit!


  19. Peter H. Coffin

    The alarmist is PR.

    Sadly, this seems to indicate that we (El Reg and its readers) do, in fact, know more about Tesla and its products that Tesla's PR folks know about El Reg. Tongue-sprains from having it so firms thrust into cheek is an essential hallmark of Register reporting, and it'd be clear even to a PR rep had she bothered to read even a half-dozen other articles, and it would have been obvious that this is going to do "the brand" absolutely no damage whatsoever. After reading the original article, my raging nerd-lust for the car did not diminish one iota. And why should it? Tesla offers a unique product and as such the ownership of one is going to be at least a small part adventure. Fixable issues with design that can cause problems (even if rare) are part of what makes it adventurous. If that scares you instead of makes you think "I should probably get that looked into sometime", Volvo will happily sell you a car.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Taxi for Ms. Konrad

    Best get your resume updated. Just in case ;o)

    1. Is it Friday yet?

      @Taxi for Ms. Konrad

      And a paper bag..... Zing!

  21. Michael 28

    "Up To...."

    “40% of its Roadsters may catch fire”

    BTW... are the batteries in the front, or the back, or both?

    1. chrubb

      strictly speaking...

      up to 100% of its roadsters may catch fire.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        even more strictly speaking...

        up to 100% of its roadsters might catch fire.

        Unless you are just giving them permission, in which case just ignore me...

  22. Iain 4

    It could be worse

    So far, as far as I can tell, fewer Teslas have self-immolated than Ferrari F458s. Which sounds pretty reasonable.

    1. Code Monkey


      I bet more women have been pulled in F458s though.

      Don't ask me, I drive a Fiesta

  23. Aaron Em

    Tesla: not getting their PR money's worth then

    You'd think a reporter-turned-shill would have better sense than to lead with her chin like that.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Uh-oh, looks like Ms Konrad has unleashed the big guns

    and is down-voting all the mocking comments on this here page...

  25. windywoo
    Thumb Down

    You got caught being pricks

    And your response is to be even bigger pricks. Reg has been slipping down my priorities lately as it seems to have less stuff of its own and more that is on other sites. An article like this doesn't make you any more appealing.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      Feel free to piss off whenever you want. You can then continue to whine into your wine without the rest of us having to read it.

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        I agree with Sir Runcible Spoon ...

        ... no-one is forcing you to read or comment. I doubt anyone will miss you.


  26. Nebulo


    Call that a flame?

    The -real- Tesla would have zapped El Reg (and probably the rest of us) with a few megavolts of pyrotechnics from an improbably large coil. Would have been worth seeing, even allowing for the EMP.

  27. Rogerborg

    To be fair "40% of roadsters may catch fire" isn't right

    100% of them "may" catch fire. However, since having juice left in the batteries is a prerequisite, I expect the number that *will* catch fire is going to be very low indeed.

    Also, Yellow Journalist still beats Green Shill any day of the week.

  28. Tom 13

    I read once that only an total idiot argues with people who buy ink

    by the barrel on a daily basis. Given that El Reg doesn't have to pay for ink but does the same thing, that they are known for their snark, and that the PR flack allegedly came from the reporting side of the house, one would have thought she'd at least have some passing acquaintance with that pearl of wisdom.

  29. Captain TickTock

    To be fair...

    how many car companies release their recalls to the press?

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Sony and Apple...

    ...didn´t seem to get all heated up (no pun intended, sort of) in such a debacle, they just launched massive recalls to repair the offending items.

    As such, their reputations remain untarnished, specially for their fans. BTW, sensationalism would be something akin to "4 OUT OF 10 TESLA CARS WILL BURN YOUR CORPSE TO ASHES IN A SUDDEN BLAZE, SELL THIS DEATHTRAP FAST".

    El Reg did fine on the writing "40% of the vehicles may..."

  31. James Grant

    .. I was going to order a Tesla ..

    .. and burn up the road, but then I read your article. Now I'm afraid to cancel - Ms. Konrad will berate me!

  32. SirTainleyBarking


    Can she Google "Streisand effect" ?

  33. yeehaw....

    Actually the Reg kinda did.......

    "Ouch - blown off, again! Well, we may be slightly jaundiced journalists, but at least we are still reporters here - we didn't give up, sell out and go over to the dark side (PR)"

    Maybe not quite, but there is a hell of a lot more commercial than the Reg was back in the late nineties. I understand why, one must do as needs must, and El Reg was feeling the burst internet bubble. What ever happened to "The Rock" or whatever it was with Lester Haines and..... his name escapes me atm?

    The Reg was funner back in the day...

  34. b166er

    AC @ 21:08

    'As such, their reputations remain untarnished'

    That's some of the funniest shit I've ever read dude

  35. gimbal

    Not sure if he even knows what "yellow journalism" means

    Granted, being exposed to as much, on a daily basis, could serve to cloud the meaning of the term.

    Everyone's got their drama. and I've got my Guiness. It balances out.

  36. Winkypop Silver badge


    Peripheral Reality

  37. 42


    No one expects quality journalism at EL Reg? Its like expecting qualtiy service from an ISP, possible but extremely unlikely, with the likes of LP and AO on staff.

  38. Avatar of They
    Thumb Up

    Sorry, not a FoTW, but close.

    I though the first rule for FoTW was to annoy readers about something that mattered to most of the readers, in such a way as to invoke the fanboi effect. That is what makes a good FoTW.

    Tesla simply isn't main stream enough to warrant your hard core FLAME ON. So I call it a worthy 2.1 effort. No caps lock, no grammar mistakes.

    It reads like she was at home, alone sipping a little too much plonk and just released some of her thoughts via email, rather than a true FoTW. Which is a stop everything and rant kind of response.

  39. Maryland, USA

    This isn't the first time she went after an unflattering newswriter

    It's deja vu all over again. Check out the March 2009 post, Tesla Flack Bitches About 'Silicon Valley Gossip Blog'.

    Too bad, 'cause she's kinda cute.

  40. Rex Alfie Lee
    Thumb Down

    40% of Tesla's will catch fire...

    The Register write reports for you & I to make decisions about technology we may want & if they write something like "40% of Tesla's will catch fire", then who is going to buy one? It is a lie & inaccurate journalism & whilst they can sit back & pontificate how that's not what they stated, it is exactly what people glean from the message.

    I usually enjoy your reporting about technology but this repeat article is an insincere attempt at avoiding any responsibility for corporate terrorism. You should be ashamed of yourselves for what you have written because your article alone could be the demolition of an organisation that probably created an industry almost single-handedly.

    This puts you in the same kind of territory as the oil companies who have bought-up invention after invention & smothered it in just the way Microsoft have. Why would you do that? Why would you devastate a company that has built an amazing machine with little support from anyone?

    As I have stated before you can pontificate all you like but the upshot of your original article is just that. You have said in no uncertain terms that Tesla's catch fire, well almost half of them. That is corporate terrorism of the ilk of Microsoft & the oil companies. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      @ Rex Alfie Lee...

      ... you are Rachel Konrad, aren't you? Come on, be transparent!

  41. VulcanV5

    40% of all amateur PRs catch fire.

    Tesla's PR flack needs to demonstrate professionalism rather than come across as a shouty amateur. Despite the lady's self-proclaimed brilliance, she seems about as recommendable to a corporate client as more Indians were to Custer.

    There are two things even the most junior PR learns to appreciate when dealing with media:

    1. If a publication doesn't carry advertising from you, then you need it more than it needs you.

    2. As (1)

    The flack in this case is in the business of trying to get as much in the way of beneficial free column inches as possible because advertising's expensive and an ad merely raises awareness, it doesn't actually sell anything. (Anything else a flack says about her / his work is bullshit: 'reputation management' etc et al. )

    Patently nervous about the ability of Tesla's corporate PR to handle, well, anything awkward at all, this flack's tactic is to (a) insult media's intelligence by refusing to advise of anything even slightly discomforting (including product recalls) and then (b) bitch-slap a particular Organ of Illumination for having the nerve to play out at Tesla's expense.

    Combine the two together, and you have a classic illustration of how Public Relations in the wrong hands really can lose friends and antagonise people.

    Anyway. Carry on regardless, El Reg. Mouthy PRs are not what the profession needs, and especially PRs who imagine they have some kind of power to wield when as any fule knoweth, media only trembles when the Ad Manager announces the loss of a megabucks advertiser because of those daft twats in Editorial.

  42. Javc

    Pretty effective really.

    If you ask me, the email was pretty effective. If it had been your normal boring email, it would have been ignored. Instead the reg made it a FoTW. Now we all know that Tesla disagrees with the original report. Brilliant.

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