Tesla Model 3 brake update wows as test complaint fixed

Consumer Reports changes its mind on Tesla Model 3

Modal Trigger Tesla Model 3 VCG via Getty Images

Consumer Reports has shifted its stance on the Tesla Model 3 and is now recommending the electric vehicle after the automaker issued a software update that improved braking distance on the auto. Bloomberg estimates the company is churning out 1,489 Model 3's per week - less than half Tesla's goal of 5,000 per week.

In retesting after the software update was downloaded, the Model 3 sedan stopped in 133 feet from 60 miles per hour, an improvement of 19 feet.

The Model 3 now stops much more quickly, thanks to a software update from Tesla, Consumer Reports found.

"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", Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, told the magazine.

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"I've been at CR for 19 years and tested more than 1,000 cars", says Jake Fisher, the magazine's director of auto testing, "and I've never seen a vehicle that could improve its track performance with an over-the-air update".

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. To be recommended by Consumer Reports, a vehicle has to have at least average reliability.

After giving Tesla (TSLA) a failing grade on its Model 3 sedan, Consumer Reports reversed its position Wednesday and gave the electric vehicle its recommendation. They found issues with the Model 3's wind noise, stiff ride, and uncomfortable rear seat.

Regardless, company CEO Elon Musk later said the issue could be fixed via a firmware update.

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The Tesla vehicle crashed into five parked cars in the Brussels borough of Saint-Gilles Tuesday, with the driver reportedly having said he was outside the auto, with the engine running, as it drove away.

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

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.

"Even though they set aside this caveat for its not autonomous driving, you have to hold on to the wheel, you have to pay attention and be attentive, but at the same time are they going to be held liable and this crash is not helping them", Garber said.

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