Consumer Reports recommends Tesla's Model 3 after brake fix

SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk | AP

SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk | AP

Just last week, Consumer Reports said it wouldn't recommend the Tesla Model 3, after testing revealed some odd behaviour under brakes.

The improved braking distances raised the Model 3's overall score enough for the vehicle to be recommended.

Consumer Reports has finally given Tesla's Model 3 a passing grade following the rollout of a software update that improved the car's stopping distance during emergency brake testing.

Consumer Reports Auto Test Director Jake Fisher noted that this is the first time he has seen a carmaker improve a vehicle's braking system through an OTA software update.

During its initial review of the Model 3, the consumer ratings publication found that the Model 3's stopping distance at 60 miles per hour - approximately 152 feet - was "far worse" than any recent model it had tested and "about seven feet longer than the stopping distance of a Ford F-150 full-sized pickup".

The problem, the non-profit testing organization explained, was that the Model 3 the company had acquired would only meet Tesla's quoted braking performance once.

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The improved braking raised the car's score high enough for it to be a recommended buy.

Police said it received a call for an incident involving a Tesla and other cars in the early evening of May 29, but did not intervene as the owners chose to handle the case through their insurance companies, Kathleen Calie, a spokeswoman for Brussels South police, said by phone.

Last May, Musk said that his plans to set up a facility in India had been derailed by the country's "Make in India" push, which requires foreign companies to source at least 30% of their products locally, reported Quartz. Rather, he said that the issue could very well be resolved via an over-the-air software update. The braking issues kept CR from giving the Model 3 its recommendation. 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.

All Tesla cars have mobile data connections that allow them to download software updates "over the air" just as cell phones and tablet computers do.

Consumer Reports also said Tesla appeared to be making some changes to its control interface, something it's able to do thanks to the large touchscreen. 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.

"This layout forces drivers to take multiple steps to accomplish simple tasks", the report said.

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