The automotive industry was in tatters yesterday with the news that a Tesla Model S had gotten a flat tire.
“At this time, I can only confirm that a Tesla Model S suffered a massive pressure loss in the semi-structural air cavity of the front-left wheel and tire assembly,” said Tesla spokesman Liz Expendable-Smith. “I’m sure our CEO will have more to say on this matter after his nap and circle time.”
Tesla’s stock price fell five and a half points after Milford Keynes of Chemsmell, New Jersey, posted a YouTube video of a Honda Accord with a flat tire. In the video, after Mr. Keynes says, “Hey, look, that guy has a flat tire,” an unseen male companion can clearly be heard saying “Yeah, hey, I saw one of them Tessel Model S-es with a flat tire just the other day.”
Industry analyst Paul Steisenbergenstienystadt, appearing on CBC’s morning news show Asscrack of Dawn, said, “This is obviously a major setback for Tesla. People think the Model S is a futuristic form of transportation simply because it can do everything an ordinary car can do without consuming any oil. This devastating incident proves that the Tesla is not immune to the perils of ordinary cars. Clearly, these so-called ‘electric cars’ are not ready for prime time.”
Tesla stock prices dropped another two points in the wake of Steisenbergenstienystadt’s comments, then rose by half a point when it was realized that he did the entire segment with his fly open.
The owner of the Tesla Model S in question was not available for comment. Expendable-Smith said that he was “somewhat irate” about the incident, and would most likely address the media after a short stint at Tesla’s re-education camp.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk later issued a statement on the cause of the incident.
“Our investigation and analysis of the on-board data recorders show that the Model S encountered a small, pointy metallic threaded object, approximately one inch in length, which most likely fell out of some sort of construction-related vehicle,” he said. “The Tesla’s front-left tire struck the object with a force of 24 newton-foot tons, breaching the rubber outer layer of the tire and allowing the high-pressure air to equalize with the atmosphere outside the tire. This caused what the media is referring to as ‘a flat’.”
Musk added that the Model S performed flawlessly in the incident.
“The driver was alerted to the incident by a loud hissing sound and a sudden pulling to one side. He was able to pull off the road safely and exit the vehicle, and none of the escaping high-pressure air ever penetrated the cabin. The Model S performed exactly as it was designed, and the occupants were never in danger. Had this incident taken place in a gasoline-powered car, the results could have been disastrous. Did I say ‘could’? I meant would. If this had happened in a gas car, people would have died, man. Scores of ‘em.”
Tesla’s stock prices rallied in the wake of Mr. Musk’s comments, for which he was rewarded with a smiley-face sticker and a cookie.
Esteemed motor news site Automotive Nudes today reported that Tesla Motors, builder of high-performance battery-powered electric vehicles, is in fact a hoax that originated as a simple April Fools’ Day prank.
“Martin [Eberhard] and I were having coffee and trying to think of a good joke,” CEO and co-founder Elon Musk told Automotive Nudes reporter Mike Retchin. “It was actually Marty’s idea. He said, ‘You know a lot about that electrical shit. Let’s issue a press release saying we’re partnering with AC Propulsion to make an electric sports car that can go 0-60 in two seconds with a thousand-mile range.’ We changed the numbers to make them a little more believable, but still impossible. Next thing we knew, we were in the headlines.”
Asked about the Lotus Elise body, Musk said, “We were trying to think of the most unlikely electric car. Marty thought a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia would be funny, or maybe a rusty old AMC Gremlin, and then I came up with the Elise. You know, to this day it still amazes me that people believed that. I can barely fit my feet into an Elise. Where the hell do they think we’d put a battery pack big enough to go 2 miles, let alone 200?”
Musk says he and Eberhard originally planned to reveal the joke right away, “But so many people bought into the idea, we figured we’d see how far we could take it.”
They continued the hoax by setting up a corporation and purchasing several actual Lotus Elises, which they disguised as Tesla Roadsters.
“Those are just regular Elises with a special device I developed that cancels out sound and vibration,” Musk explained. “It works just like a set of Bose noise-cancelling headphones, but on a much larger scale. Pretty slick, right? It took a long time to get it to work reliably, which is why we had to keep the media from driving the cars for so long. When we put the car on Top Gear, I thought for sure the gadget would break down and we’d get busted. Turns out it ran out of gas first, so we lucked out.”
Tesla has claimed sales of nearly 2,500 Roadsters in 31 countries. In fact, says Musk, there are about two dozen cars on the road in California, all driven by friends who are in on the joke.
“We even went so far as to develop the Model S,” Musk said, “which is really just a fiberglass body on a stretched Fiero chassis. And then we showed the Model X prototype. I made that one myself with a Ford Focus and a shitload of Bondo. By that time we were starting to get tired of the whole thing, so we decided to tell the world the truth. April fool!”