I don't know what kind of proceedings you or your company participated in, but defamation or trade libel are difficult claims to prove here in the US, at least prove through a judgment and have the result upheld on appeal. The deck is already stacked against you somewhat as a plaintiff bringing the case, and no doubt the NYT would have appealed any adverse trial court rulings, thereby increasing the risk of a protracted and uncertain result even further. That's one of the reasons you see so few of these cases actually litigated through trial and a judgment here in the US.
Rather than route, Tesla made the right decision to enlist other media outlets with no preconceived biases and obtained priceless, positive publicity. You just can't buy the kind of publicity Tesla got the past week. And the NYT has been made to look pretty stupid by the other members of the media that had no problem making the trip Broder chose to fail at.