Elon Musk has addressed the results of Consumer Reports’ evaluation of the Tesla Model 3. In a series of tweets on Monday, Musk described the results of the magazine’s test as “strange,” before pledging to improve the Model 3’s braking capabilities.
Consumer Reports recently published the results of its Model 3 evaluation. According to the magazine, there is “plenty to like” about the electric car, including its excellent range and handling. The magazine noted, however, that these advantages are overshadowed by flaws in the Model 3’s other aspects, most especially in its braking performance.
CR noted that the Model 3’s 152-foot stopping distance in its 60-0 mph test is “far worse than any contemporary car” that it has tested in the past. Consumer Reports further stated that the Model X, a far heavier vehicle than the Model 3, has a braking distance that’s 25 feet shorter than the compact sedan. Citing cabin noise during highway driving and a stiff ride on top of the vehicle’s braking issues, Consumer Reports opted not to give the Model 3 its recommendation.
Musk noted that CR’s test seems to indicate that some Model 3 have longer stopping distances than others. With this, Musk pledged to address the electric car’s braking issues through an upcoming software update. The Tesla CEO further added that if a physical upgrade is needed to ensure the quality of the Model 3’s brakes, the electric car’s owners will receive the improvements at no extra expense.
“The CR braking result is inconsistent with other reviewers, but might indicate that some Model 3’s have longer braking distances than others. If so, we will address this at our expense. First time we’ve seen anything like this. Even if a physical upgrade is needed to existing fleet, we will make sure all Model 3’s having amazing braking ability at no expense to customers,” Musk tweeted.
Ultimately, Elon Musk stated that Tesla would continue to make refinements and improvements to the Model 3’s brakes until such a point that it becomes better than any of its competitors. Musk also announced that a firmware update for the Model 3 would be rolling out in a few days.
“Looks like this can be fixed with a firmware update. Will be rolling that out in a few days. With further refinement, we can improve braking distance beyond initial specs. Tesla won’t stop until Model 3 has better braking than any remotely comparable car,” Musk tweeted.
In a later tweet, Musk noted that Consumer Reports’ Model 3 is an early production car, similar to the vehicle tested by Detroit veteran Sandy Munro. Munro, a teardown specialist, triggered strong reactions from the Tesla community earlier this year when he compared the build quality of the Model 3 to a “Kia from the 90s.” Despite his criticisms of the Model 3’s exterior and design, however, Munro later stated that he was impressed with the electric car’s ride and drive. Munro was particularly impressed with the Model 3’s electronics as well, which he compared to an F-35 flight controller.