Consumer Reports says Model 3 update fixed brakes, now recommended

Over-the-air update fixed ABS software issue

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
A little over a week after Consumer Reports announced it wouldn't recommend the Tesla Model 3 electric car, in part because of seriously long stopping distances (and other things), Tesla has made good on its promise that the braking would improve with an over-the-air update. Consumer Reports announced it retested its Model 3 with the update, and stopping distances dropped from 152 feet to 130 feet.

Consumer Reports will also be renting a second Model 3 from Tesla to do further testing. It will also be interesting to see if Car and Driver, another publication that experienced braking issues, will see improvements with an updated car.

According to Consumer Reports, the update included adjustments to ABS software. Musk also noted that user interface updates have also been included, which Consumer Reports also touched on, and also production line changes have been made to improve interior noise and ride quality. According to Musk, new Model 3s will use a different windshield design and reworked suspension. He also recommends reducing tire pressure on current models to help with ride quality. Though it's worth noting that a reduction in tire pressure could also result in a slight decrease in driving range.

Because of the braking improvement and the signs that interior noise levels and ride quality will be improved, Consumer Reports has announced that it will give the Model 3 the coveted "Recommended" rating. These changes may not be enough to win over some other publications, such as Edmunds, which has experienced many quality issues that have required repairs. For what it's worth, our test drive of the car found that it's quick and reasonably fun to drive, if a bit numb. We didn't feel as frustrated about the noise issues, but we have serious issues with the user interface, and we have problems with Autopilot. Our recommendation is see if you can live with its quirks before committing to it. If you can't, there are other compelling electric cars on the market.

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