Tesla Inc.'s (TSLA) Model 3 has failed to find a place on the "recommended" list by the influential American magazine Consumer Reports, which is published by a nonprofit organization and provides product ratings and reviews.
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 Model 3 required 152 feet, which CR said was "far worse than any contemporary vehicle we've tested". "Will be rolling that out in a few days". "With further refinement, we can improve braking distance beyond initial specs". In traditional Musk fashion, he also used that tweet to promise that, in time, the Model 3 will out-brake the competition.
Tesla's braking problems described in the Consumer Reports have been previously covered by vehicle and Driver. "That they are committed to implementing a fix and improving stopping distances on the Model 3 is good for everyone on the road". On her Twitter, Grimes wrote, "he has never prevented them from unionizing.it's quite literally fake news. trust me, i've investigated this heavily and even visited factories etc".
Musk also suggested that whatever issue may have skewed Consumer Reports' take on the Model 3's braking could be fixed by a software update, and Tesla will cover any expenses to fix the problem. The Model 3 performed poorly in brake tests, which led to a series of new Tweets from Musk.
The magazine also said almost all of the Model 3's controls are on a center touch screen direction with no gauges on the dashboard and few buttons inside the auto.
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A number of other aspects of the vehicle also prevented it from gaining an Recommended rating by Consumer Reports.
Navigant Research Senior Analyst Samuel Abuelsamid said that the test results were evidence of shortcuts Tesla takes during development, compared to legacy automakers, and its willingness to send out unfinished cars that often require inconvenient follow-up work for updates and warranty work. "May just be a question of firmware tuning, in which case can be solved by an [over the air (OTA)] software update".
Consumer Reports' auto testing director Jake Fisher said brake pads and tires are "properly conditioned" before each test.
Production of Tesla Model 3s began in July of a year ago and the first regular customers only received their cars in December after some Tesla employees.