The change of heart came after Consumer Reports agreed to a retest of the automobile once Tesla improved the Model 3 braking abilities through an "over-the-air" update. A previous test found that it took 152 feet for the Model 3 compact auto to stop from 60, the longest braking distance of any modern vehicle the magazine has tested.
Last week, after CR's road test was published, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the firm would fix the issue "within days". After Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised "over-the-air" updates to improve braking, CR gave the vehicle another chance. During the magazine's retest of the vehicle, the Model 3 managed to hit a full stop from 60 miles per hour in 133 feet, a 19-foot, or roughly 13%, improvement over its previous braking distance of 152 feet.
Tesla is now struggling to make enough Model 3 cars to keep up with demand and turn a profit, something CEO Elon Musk has repeatedly said will happen this year. "Tesla won't stop until Model 3 has better braking than any remotely comparable auto". This enabled the vehicle to receive a recommended rating. The magazine's test drivers also took issue with wind noise, uncomfortable rear seats and and the car's relatively stiff ride.
"I've been at CR for 19 years and tested more than 1,000 cars", says Jake Fisher, the magazine's director of auto testing, "and I've never seen a vehicle that could improve its track performance with an over-the-air update". Musk said some of those problems could be addressed with over-the-air updates.
Musk pledged in a tweet last week that the braking improvements would make the Model 3 best in its class.
Consumer Reports also said Tesla appeared to be making some changes to its control interface, something it's able to do thanks to the large touchscreen.
The Model 3 is Tesla's first attempt to appeal to mass-market buyers.
Consumer Reports said in the review on Monday that it had sourced a second privately-owned Model 3 to confirm initial results that showed the sedan braked slower than a full-sized pickup truck. 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.
'If so, we will address this at our expense.
The driver says the Tesla sedan was running in its Autopilot mode right before the impact. Once Consumer Reports receives representative survey data on the Model 3, its reliability score could go up or down, just as the Model 3's test score did after the new braking test.
The issue for Tesla is that unlike other vehicle companies, it is a young brand that needs to win people over so can´t afford too many missteps'.