Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Consumer Reports Reverses Its Decision on Tesla Model 3

Consumer Reports Reverses Its Decision on Tesla Model 3

As you may have seen, Consumer Reports last week withheld its recommendation to buy Tesla's more compact luxury vehicle, 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". Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive of Tesla, had said it would remotely update the software.

To perform the test, researchers slam on the vehicle's brakes when the auto is traveling 60 miles per hour and measure the distance the vehicle travels until it comes to a stop.

Fast forward to today and Consumer Reports has revealed the update has significantly improved the situation. Consumer Reports says that's typical for a compact luxury vehicle.

Thanks to the improved braking, Consumer Reports raised its overall score for the Tesla Model 3.

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While others, such as Edmunds, have complained about problems with their Model 3s, Consumer Reports bases its reliability recommendations on a collection of reader surveys, not on its own test cars. Changes to the Model 3's UI - which has been a target of concern over just how much of the interface has been shifted to the central touchscreen, rather than given dedicated hardware controls - are expected later in the month, Musk promises. "I've been at CR for 19 years and tested more than 1,000 cars", Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at the organization said of the change, "and I've never seen a vehicle that could improve its track performance with an over-the-air update". Rather, he said that the issue could very well be resolved via an over-the-air software update. Nevertheless, Musk has posted a few tips to improve the Model 3's wind noise and ride quality. Musk has added that their criticism about the car's road noise and ride comfort have also been addressed.

Tesla's profitability depends highly on the success of its Model 3 production.

Also mentioned in CR's updated Model 3 ratings were the difficulties associated with the car's 15-inch center-mounted touchscreen, which handles nearly all of the vehicle's controls. Consumer Reports has also been sharply critical of an element of the Model 3's cabin that has previously received rave reviews: its controls. 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.

'It is important not to be too harsh on Tesla as other vehicles have had their share of safety and technical issues.

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