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Consumer Reports recommends Tesla's Model 3 after braking fix

31 May 2018

Tesla's software update for the Model 3, pushed out to address criticisms of the electric car's braking performance, seems to have done the trick. As you may have seen, Consumer Reports last week withheld its recommendation to buy Tesla's more compact luxury auto, the Model 3, after its testers "found flaws-big flaws-such as long stopping distances in our emergency braking test and difficult-to-use controls".

Tesla CEO Elon Musk made several excuses for the Model 3's numbers, including that the tested model was an earlier version with an outdated brake system; sure enough, the software update recently sent out wirelessly by Tesla did improve the braking, pushing the vehicle to a 'recommended'.

This time instead of 152 feet to stop from 60 miles per hour it more closely matched Tesla's rated 133 feet for braking distance. The new software addressed variations in braking styles and environmental conditions, a company spokeswoman told Consumer Reports.

No dealer visit required: Tesla sent a revised braking calibration to the Model 3 remotely. As to CR's complaints over wind and road noise, Musk apparently told CR that fixes for those concerns have already been made on the Model 3 production line. Musk said a year ago that Tesla was in discussions with the government, requesting temporary waiver of import penalties and other restrictions until a local facility is built.

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It refused to recommend the vehicle - causing the firm to admit to a problem with its software and issue a firmware update within days.

The Model 3 is Tesla's first attempt to appeal to mass-market buyers.

"Really appreciate the high quality critical feedback from Consumer Reports", Musk said in a tweet Wednesday.

Calling the review "very strange", Musk also said that the variability in stopping distance was due to an ABS (Anti-Skid Braking System) calibration algorithm. Additionally, the company has been changing some of the vehicle's controls so that users don't have to always go through the touchscreen while driving. Consumer Reports, meanwhile, argued that the screen makes it more hard for riders to accomplish "simple tasks", such as adjusting the air conditioning and the car's mirrors, especially while driving safely. "I booked a Tesla Model 3 more than two years ago, back in April 2016".

Consumer Reports recommends Tesla's Model 3 after braking fix