Tesla Model 3 Gets CR Recommendation After Braking Update

Tesla Model 3 Gets CR Recommendation After Braking Update

Consumer Reports on Wednesday did an about-face on its harsh review of the Tesla Model 3, saying it now recommends the mass-market sedan after a software update shortened its braking distance by almost 20 feet.

Musk had acknowledged the brake issue last week, saying that the magazine's tests had used two early versions of the auto and that a firmware update could improve braking distance beyond initial specs.

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Elon Musk responded quickly, telling the world he - or rather, Tesla - could fix the problem with an over-the-air update. The improved braking distance pushed the Model 3's overall score up enough for the organization to issue a recommendation.

The magazine said Wednesday that the update cut 19 feet off the car's stopping distance from 60 miles per hour.

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A week after saying it couldn't recommend the Tesla Model 3 due to concerns about the car's braking abilities, Consumer Reports has made a U-turn and now says it will give a thumbs up to the electric vehicle. This enabled the vehicle to receive a recommended rating.

CR also gave notably low marks to the Model 3's unique controls, which force drivers to make audio, phone, climate, and other changes nearly exclusively through a center-mounted touch screen. He told Fisher in a phone call last week that the company had already made improvements to those areas of the Model 3, Consumer Reports said. Musk also suggested the car's 15-inch touchscreen display could receive an over-the-air update to make it easier to use. Musk said in his tweet that user interface improvements are "coming via remote software update later this month". And it comes at a critical time for Tesla, which has struggled to ramp up production of the Model 3 and is facing pressure from unhappy activist investor groups to bring on more independent board members. The test is repeated multiple times with multiple cars, the publication says, and the brakes are cooled between tests to ensure they don't overheat. Nevertheless, Musk has posted a few tips to improve the Model 3's wind noise and ride quality. Following a recent software update, however, the magazine is now giving Tesla its approval. The advocacy groups maintain that Tesla and Musk are violating a recently enacted law that bars companies from making statements that lead drivers to mistakenly think a vehicle is fully autonomous if it doesn't meet the state's definition of a self-driving auto. He has played down a report identifying "big flaws" in its Model 3 sedan, admitting there is a braking issue with the vehicle but saying it will be fixed within days.

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