A Ford Mustang Mach-E owner said he received death threats from Tesla fans after he praised his new car in a tweet.
Sergio Rodriguez, a 41-year-old military contractor and U.S. Army veteran who also owns a Tesla Model X, said he received a barrage of online abuse and threats from Tesla fans on Twitter after he posted his recent cross-country trip in a Mach-E.
The Tesla fans scorned Rodriguez and accused him of being one of the people Ford is paying to post exaggerated claims about its electric crossover for publicity.
“I’ve had them message me death threats over my joy with the Mach-E,” Rodriguez said in a reply to a tweet posted by Jace Craft-Miller, another Mustang Mach-E First Edition owner.
Tesla fans are known for being passionate about the brand and the electric vehicles offered. Some, like California-based software engineer Sofiaan Fraval and his podcast friends, may be a little too passionate.
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The fiery debate among Ford and Tesla owners reflects the intensity surrounding a growing all-electric market dominated by Tesla, which is credited with transforming the image of electric vehicles globally.
Ford’s Mustang Mach-E is portrayed as the first serious competitor to Tesla in terms of sleek design, speed and handling. Some of its users, like Rodriguez, share their views about the new model, to the chagrin of Tesla fans.
Rodriguez said he reported all the threats and abuse he got on Facebook and Twitter but forgot to take a screenshot before reporting. The posts were later removed.
“One was, like, ‘I hope the car loses control and crashes.’ Or ‘The car is going to catch fire when you’re driving it,'” he told Free Press. “I took that as a threat. For you to have any kind of ill will on anybody, why would you say that?”
He even reached out to Mike Levine, Ford North America product communications manager, who himself had been targeted with relentless and harsh criticism online after defending Mach-E owners on Twitter.
“So sorry to hear this. Horrifying,” Levin replied via tweet.
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