Reversing course: Tesla’s Model 3 gets thumbs up from Consumer Reports

SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk | AP

SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk | AP

A previous test found that it took 152 feet for the Model 3 compact auto to stop from 60, the longest braking distance of any modern vehicle the magazine has tested.

Consumer Reports is now recommending Tesla's Model 3 compact electric vehicle after a company software update improved its poor braking performance.

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

Since Tesla has applied the update, the car's stopping distance has reached roughly 40 metres, meaning that a single software update has shaved six metres off of the car's stopping distance. Tesla informed CR that it "had improved the software for the EV's antilock braking system to adapt to variations in how the brakes might be used and to respond to different environmental conditions".

Tesla beamed a wireless software update to the Model 3s on the road that improved their braking, and the impact was swift.

Tesla's ability to improve its cars with over-the-air updates "is unique, and highlights the company's leadership position", Ben Kallo, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co., said in a note to clients.

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The updated brakes, while a large improvement, do not place the Model 3 at the top of its class, the publication said. Model 3 now has improved ride comfort, lower wind noise & many other small improvements.

Consumer Reports said that issues it had highlighted last week had been resolved.

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. Additionally, the braking distance too was criticised severely. 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. Will request that they test current production, ' he wrote. The Model X, however, did not get much approval from CR, with the magazine describing the vehicle as "fast and flawed." . May just be a question of firmware tuning, in which case can be solved by an OTA software update'.

'While the negative reports of braking issues will not deter Tesla brand enthusiasts, it might raise doubts among the more casual buyer, ' said Neil Saunders, Managing Director of consumer research house GlobalData Retail.

In 2014, Tesla had said it was keen to enter the Indian market and even identified the country as one of the possible locations to set up a manufacturing plant in Asia.

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