Yesterday's 60 Minutes included a segment on Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk. It also included footage of a Model S making some very uncharacteristic engine noises that seemed suspiciously overdubbed. Today, CBS admitted in a statement to Fox News that the noises were the result of an "audio editing error."
You can watch the Tesla segment here on CBS's website, with the strange engine noise overdub still in effect (at least, as of this writing). It sounded strikingly out-of-place to me during the TV broadcast. The strangest thing here is, at 00:53 in this segment, Scott Pelley highlights the features that make a Model S silent:
The Tesla Model S is powered by 7,000 battery cells linked to an electric motor. No engine, no transmission, no tailpipe.
All while blasting your ears with the sound of what I'm guessing is a 4-cylinder, gasoline-powered motorcycle accelerating and shifting gears.
From 2:45 to 2:50 you hear it again, superimposed over footage of a Tesla driving through a tunnel—that's Tesla's own promotional footage, seen here without the engine noises 60 Minutes added:
Just to make sure we're all on the same page, the Tesla Model S, like most electric cars, is nearly silent. That's one of its defining features, and it's puzzling to me why 60 Minutes felt the need to portray it otherwise. Were they trying to make the footage more exciting? CBS told FoxNews.com today "our video editor made an audio editing error in our report about Elon Musk and Tesla last night. We regret the error and it is being corrected online."