Tesla stock jumps after winning Consumer Reports blessing

31 May, 2018, 20:43 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk | AP

A wireless update of antilock braking software improved the stopping distance of Tesla's electric Model 3, prompting Consumer Reports to reverse course and give the vehicle its "Recommended Buy" rating.

The influential magazine had declined to recommend the electric-car maker's more mainstream model last week after testing showed it took longer to stop than a Ford F-150 pickup. That was the longest braking distance of any modern vehicle the magazine has tested.

Consumer Reports said it was getting a 152-ft average stopping distance from 60 miles per hour, while Tesla claimed an average of 133 feet in their own tests.

Tesla revealed earlier this week it has begun upgrading the braking software on its Model 3 after Consumer Reports refused to recommend the vehicle over braking distances. Ultimately, the Model 3 firmware update pushed out this past weekend was enough to raise the compact electric car's Overall Score enough to warrant a "Recommended" rating.

Even so, the speed and relative ease with which Tesla was able to apply the brake fix to Model 3s in the wild is impressive. But the magazine still has concerns over wind noise and the touch-screen controls.

Consumer Reports said that issues it had highlighted last week had been resolved. Musk also suggested the car's 15-inch touchscreen display could receive an over-the-air update to make it easier to use.

"I've been at CR for 19 years and tested more than 1,000 cars, and I have never seen a auto that could improve its track performance with an over-the-air update", Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' director of automotive testing, said in the magazine's report. Musk suggested in the same conversation with CR that some of those problems could be addressed with OTA updates. The braking issues kept CR from giving the Model 3 its recommendation. Musk has added that their criticism about the car's road noise and ride comfort have also been addressed.

The magazine also said almost all of the Model 3's controls are on a center touchscreen direction with no gauges on the dashboard and few buttons inside the auto.

A Tesla (TSLA) spokesperson told the magazine the software was updated to improve the brakes' performance with different drivers and in varying environmental conditions.

'It is important not to be too harsh on Tesla as other vehicles have had their share of safety and technical issues.

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