Tesla gets 'Recommended' rating after upgrading poor brakes


Tesla Inc.'s Model 3 sedan won a coveted recommendation from Consumer Reports after an over-the-air software update improved braking by nearly 20 feet.

In its initial Tesla Model 3 review, CR pointed out several flaws with the vehicles, notably long stopping distances in its emergency braking test and difficult-to-use controls. So for Tesla to make good on Musk's promise, it may need additional updates to the braking software.

In response, Tesla CEO Elon Musk last week said he would address the problem with a software update in a few days and improve the Model 3 until it "has better braking than any remotely comparable auto".

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

Tesla is in discussions with India for temporary waiver of import penalties and other restrictions until a local factory is built for the company, says Elon Musk. "Tesla won't stop until Model 3 has better braking than any remotely comparable vehicle".

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Production of Tesla Model 3s began in July of previous year and the first regular customers only received their cars in December after some Tesla employees. In an interview with Consumer Reports, Musk said Model 3s now have different window glass that reduces wind noise as well as new suspension dampers that should ease the reported stiff ride. Musk has added that their criticism about the car's road noise and ride comfort have also been addressed. Another software update will address the controls, he wrote. The braking issues kept CR from giving the Model 3 its recommendation.

In June, Musk said that Tesla was in discussions with the government, requesting temporary waiver of import penalties and other restrictions until a local facility is built.

CR plans to rent another Model 3 from Tesla at a later date to see these changes in action. 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.

The software update was done either via the car's cellular connection or a wireless internet link, depending on how the owner configures the auto, according to Tesla.

In addition to the braking issues, CR had critiqued the difficulty in accessing some of the Model 3's secondary controls through the car's large central touchscreen. "I booked a Tesla Model 3 more than two years ago, back in April 2016".