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Did Tesla Live Up To Elon Musk's Promises With Recent Model 3 Brake Fix?

Tesla has updated the firmware on the Model 3. Testing is in and the results look good. But are they good enough?


Tesla made good on part of its promise to update the "defective" brakes on the Model 3 that resulted in unexpected and unacceptably long stopping distances during testing by both Car and Driver and Consumer Reports.

The $59,000 Consumer Reports Model 3 vehicle tested was purchased by Consumer Reports. The company plans to "rent" a Model 3 from Tesla to verify that the updates have been applied to newer Model 3 cars.

Buying cars without revealing that they will be headed to testing is one of the things unique about Consumer Reports. Few publications do this. The safety group IIHS also tests cars that it buys. The Model 3 car it purchased failed to earn scores high enough to qualify for the Top Safety Pick Plus designation. Headlight adjustments may be part of why that happened. Had IIHS asked Tesla for a car, the car maker may have taken special care that a private buyer would not have benefitted from.

Tesla updated the firmware of the Model 3 and Consumer Reports has re-tested the car. Elon Musk tweeted the following regarding the brakes on the Model 3:

The stopping distances are now 19 feet shorter. In its summary of the braking improvements, Consumer Reports noted, " Musk suggested in a tweet last week that the company would make the Model 3’s braking performance the best in its class. Although this update improved the car’s stopping distances, the braking performance is not class-leading. So for Tesla to make good on Musk’s promise, it may need additional updates to the braking software."

Although this brake correction demonstrates again Tesla's impressive and industry-leading over the air updating capabilities, the real question here is why Tesla, now on its fourth model, and about to enter its fifteenth year as a company, is still releasing products before they are fully tested and vetted.

Torque News will follow up and report further progress on the Model 3's braking system to see if Elon Musk keeps his word regarding the car's brakes having "better braking than any remotely comparable car."


Patrick Olsen (not verified)    May 31, 2018 - 12:16PM

Hi, I work for CR, and if you read our story closely, you'll see that we're renting another Model 3 to see if fixes were made to models built after ours was. We will *not* be testing that rental. We only test the cars we buy. Period. Thanks.

jim young (not verified)    June 6, 2018 - 9:01AM

Tesla is a house of cards held up by the cult followers. Musk is like the Jehovah's Witnesses that when one date passes and nothing comes of it they just move the date. Its a carrot that will never be reached. More competition by the big companies that can actually produce a car, and lack of actual interest in an 80 grand car that goes a few hundred miles.