Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Finance | By Gustavo Carr

Tesla Model 3 earns Consumer Reports recommendation following OTA brake update

Tesla Model 3 earns Consumer Reports recommendation following OTA brake update

As we reported last week, Consumer Reports (CR) refused to give Tesla's Model 3 all-electric sedan their recommendation due to "big flaws" in the vehicle's braking system. In testing, the Model 3 needed as much as 152 feet to stop, which the publication said, "was far worse than any contemporary vehicle we've tested" - and 9 feet longer than it took to stop a Ford F-150 pickup truck. Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive of Tesla, had said it would remotely update the software. The magazine bought a Model 3 for the first test and said it doesn't normally rent test vehicles. CR said that with the fix, the vehicle braked from 60 miles per hour to rest in 19 fewer feet than before - putting it on par with Tesla's own estimation of a 133-foot stopping distance, a distance that CR said is "typical for a compact luxury auto". The new software addressed variations in braking styles and environmental conditions, a company spokeswoman told Consumer Reports. Of the 57 hybrid and electric vehicles Consumer Reports has reviewed, it ranked the Tesla Model 3 sixth, behind the front-running 2018 Toyota Prius.

While others, such as Edmunds, have complained about problems with their Model 3s, Consumer Reports bases its reliability recommendations on a collection of reader surveys, not on its own test cars. They found issues with the Model 3's wind noise, stiff ride, and uncomfortable rear seat.

In addition to the braking updates, Tesla also made changes to the car's touch screen interface, addressing another of the magazine's complaints that the interface is too distracting. Musk also suggested the car's 15-inch touchscreen display could receive an over-the-air update to make it easier to use.

"In retesting after the software update was downloaded, the sedan stopped in 133 feet from 60 miles per hour, an improvement of 19 feet", said CR in its new review of the Model 3. Improved windshield for aero noise & suspension for ride comfort are major ops.

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According to Musk, some of these concerns had been addressed in the Model 3 production line over the past few months.

Consumer Reports announced the update to the Model 3's ratings Wednesday. Tesla won't stop until Model 3 has better braking than any remotely comparable auto, ' Musk wrote in exchanges with other twitter users.

"Would love to be in India", Musk said in the Twitter posting.

India's tax structure, which has kept Tesla away, is changing rapidly to facilitate shift to environment-friendly cars, Transport minister Nitin Gadkari said in January.

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