Consumer Reports recommends Tesla's Model 3 after braking fix

Consumer Reports changes its mind on Tesla Model 3

Consumer Reports changes its mind on Tesla Model 3

Consumer Reports now recommends the Tesla Model 3, after our testers found that a recent over-the-air (OTA) update improved the car's braking distance by nearly 20 feet.

Tesla was somewhat taken aback by the report, noting that its own testing found that the Model 3 has a stopping distance of 130 feet. Tesla CEO Elon Musk had publicly promised to fix the braking issue. But Consumer Reports said the stopping distance was not class leading and the further updates may be necessary. 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".

Tesla Inc. denied reports that one of its Model S vehicles drove off by itself and crashed into cars in Brussels this week, saying a driver was in control without use of its Autopilot feature when the accident took place. "Tesla won't stop until Model 3 has better braking than any remotely comparable vehicle".

A man cleans a Tesla Model 3 vehicle during a media preview at the Auto China 2018 motor show in Beijing, China April 25, 2018.

"I've been at CR for 19 years and tested more than 1,000 cars, and I've never seen a vehicle that could improve its track performance with an over-the-air update", he said in a statement. Musk said some of those problems could be addressed with over-the-air updates. Nevertheless, Musk has posted a few tips to improve the Model 3's wind noise and ride quality.

The magazine also found flaws with the Model 3's dashboard.

Musk said that those upgrades are available for existing owners, but suggested instead that to improve ride comfort, owners drop tire pressures from 45 psi to 39 psi. Tesla won't stop until Model 3 has better braking than any remotely comparable vehicle, ' Musk wrote in exchanges with other twitter users.

"Looks like this can be fixed with a firmware update", Musk said.

The driver says the Tesla sedan was running in its Autopilot mode right before the impact.

'While the negative reports of braking issues will not deter Tesla brand enthusiasts, it might raise doubts among the more casual buyer, ' said Neil Saunders, Managing Director of consumer research house GlobalData Retail.

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