This was a big deal. Not only is it embarrassing when a media outlet's car breaks down in such a dramatic fashion, but any defect that causes a sudden loss of vehicle power is typically considered safety-related. There was also a grim point of comparison: the GM ignition switch scandal that was just starting to explode into the mainstream media had involved a defect that produced a similar sudden loss of vehicle power. Several months later, on Tesla's second quarter earnings call, CEO Elon Musk addressed the incident by telling analysts:
"Well, there's definitely some genuine issues we have with the car, but they had one of our early production units, and in fact most of the problems that they have encountered there are not present in current cars. We also — I think this may be ending up being counterproductive, but the service team was ultra proactive with the Edmunds car. So they would — they were doing their best to make Edmunds happy, and I think unfortunately that resulted in them changing things up, just on the off-chance something might go wrong.
So that drive unit issue that I mentioned earlier were, the drive units [were] replaced even though it wasnt a drive unit problem, that happened with them twice. So, unfortunate sort of case, but I dont think its broadly correct."