The Tesla Model 3 could get a second chance with Consumer Reports after dismal braking results

Bryan Logan/Business InsiderTesla Model 3.
  • Consumer Reports says it would re-test the Tesla Model 3’s braking ability after it got dismal results on one of its test vehicles, which in turn got the attention of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
  • In its original test, the publication said its Model 3 took 152 feet to reach a complete stop from 60 mph. That stopping distance is far longer than other vehicles in the segment, and worse than that of a Ford F-150 pickup truck.
  • Consumer Reports said the Model 3 achieved a 130-foot stop from 60 mph in an earlier test.
  • Tesla is looking into it, and Musk said a fix could be as simple as a firmware update.

Consumer Reports says it will re-test the Tesla Model 3’s braking distance if Tesla is able to fix the problem via a software update, after the publication achieved poor results from a test car that caught the attention of CEO Elon Musk.

One of its tests showed the Model 3 took 152 feet to reach a complete stop from 60 mph. That test contributed to Consumer Reports’ decision not to recommend the car.

That 152-foot stopping distance is far longer than the average of other vehicles in the segment, and worse than that of a Ford F-150 pickup truck. As an example, one of Motor Trend’s 2018 Ford F-150 testers – which has a curb weight of nearly 5,300 pounds – managed to stop from 60 mph in just 119 feet.

The worst result Motor Trend achieved was 129 feet, which was still four feet better than Tesla’s own best average Model 3 stopping distance of 133 feet, a result that a Tesla representative shared with Business Insider on Tuesday.

Tesla is looking into it, and Musk suggested the poor braking result that Consumer Reports published may have come from an early iteration of the Model 3, Tesla’s first mass-market electric car. According to Musk, a fix could be as simple as a firmware update.

“If Tesla can update the brakes over the air – an industry first – we’d be happy to retest our Model 3,” Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing, Jake Fisher, told Reuters on Tuesday.

GlobalData Retail researcher Neil Saunders told the newswire service that the Tesla faithful will likely disregard the bad review, but said “it might raise doubts among the more causal buyer.”

Tesla’s stock fell a little more than 3% on the news Tuesday.

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