Tesla Model 3 gets Consumer Reports recommendation after braking fix

Tesla Model 3 gets Consumer Reports recommendation after braking fix

Consumer Reports on Wednesday did an about-face on its harsh review of the Tesla Model 3, saying it now recommends the mass-market sedan after a software update shortened its braking distance by almost 20 feet.

Musk argued that the braking issue could be fixed with an over-the-air software update (OTA), technology that Tesla regularly relies on to improve performance and roll out new features on the infotainment system it its vehicles.

In the organization's updated emergency braking tests, the vehicle stopped from 60 miles per hour in 133 feet, on par with the BMW 3-Series, and earned the Tesla a good score.

Tesla revealed earlier this week it has begun upgrading the braking software on its Model 3 after Consumer Reports refused to recommend the auto over braking distances.

The Model 3, which starts at $35,000, is seen as crucial to Tesla's profitability at a time when it is battling reports of crashes involving its Autopilot software, questions over funding and production shortfalls. While a few other automakers have begun employing OTA updates for some features in the vehicle, typically for infotainment changes, right now only Tesla offers these sort of in-depth modifications without a visit to a service center. But the magazine still has concerns over wind noise and the touch-screen controls.

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Last May, Musk said that his plans to set up a facility in India had been derailed by the country's "Make in India" push, which requires foreign companies to source at least 30% of their products locally, reported Quartz. The publication says the newest software update also seems to have made some operations, such as adjusting the mirrors, simpler.

Musk said that those upgrades are available for existing owners, but suggested instead that to improve ride comfort, owners drop tire pressures from 45 psi to 39 psi.

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.

"Would love to be in India", Musk said in the Twitter posting.

All Tesla cars have mobile data connections that allow them to download software updates "over the air" just as cell phones and tablet computers do. "Tesla will be there as soon as he believes we should", added Musk, also the SpaceX founder.

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