Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk admitted late on Monday there was a braking issue with the Model 3 sedan, pointed out by Consumer Reports, and said it can be fixed with a firmware update that the electric car maker will be rolling 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 wrote in a tweet.
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.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 22, 2018
Musk said that Consumer Reports had an early production car and would request them to test a newer model. "Model 3 now has improved ride comfort, lower wind noise & many other small improvements," Musk wrote in another tweet.
However, Musk did not note that when CR's testing revealed highly inconsistent braking distances — "far worse than any contemporary car we've tested" — the magazine obtained a second Model 3 to test, and the results were the same. The influential magazine noted that it did not have such problems in its testing of the Model X and Model S.
CR on Monday said it will not recommend the affordable Model 3, seen as key to Tesla's profitability, as it braked slower than a full-sized pickup truck. CR pointed out that Car and Driver reported similar problems in its testing, and Edmunds has reported a litany of problems with its Model 3. Edmunds also observed a potentially dangerous problem with Autopilot. Autoblog's John Beltz Snyder had his own issues with Autopilot in his review of the Model 3. Tesla ultimately issued a successful Autopilot software update.
Both CR and Edmunds purchase their test cars, like any consumer would.
Consumer Reports criticized the Model 3 for having overly long stopping distances and a difficult-to-use center touch screen, both of which it cited as safety issues. The magazine also criticized the car's stiff ride, unsupportive rear seat and excessive wind noise at highway speeds, but it praised its "blistering" acceleration and impressive tested range of 350 miles on a charge.
Research analyst Frank Schwope at NordLB called the report a really bad advertisement and could discourage new customers.
Shares of Tesla were trading slightly up at $286.11 in premarket trading on Tuesday, after closing up 2.8 percent at $284.49 on the Nasdaq on Monday.