The BBC Trust has cleared Top Gear producers of intentionally inflaming Argentine sentiment over the Falkland Islands after deciding that a decision last year to send host Jeremy Clarkson to the South American nation in a car with the license plate H982 FKL, was coincidental.
Sight of the alpha-numeric registration number sparked riots in the country with many locals (and viewers at home) suspicious that it had been deliberately designed to provoke memories of the 1982 Falklands conflict, in which Britain defeated Argentina.
So serious did the incident become that Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond were forced to flee the country.
Having assessed claims the BBC’s complaints and appeals board decided that there was no evidence ‘which demonstrated that the use of the number plate was a deliberate reference to the Falklands War.’
Top Gear was subsequently taken off air owing to an unrelated ‘fracas’ in which Clarkson assaulted a producer over post-recording catering facilities.