Tesla says it plans to fix Model 3 braking issue

Image Jason Kempin  Getty Images

Long emergency stopping distances, difficult-to-use controls and a harsh ride stopped Tesla 's Model 3 electric vehicle from getting a recommended buy rating from Consumer Reports.

Musk vowed to fix the issue, which the influential magazine said included long stopping distances. In these tests, the Model 3 sedan reportedly braked slower than a full-sized pickup truck. In other words, Tesla's Model 3 may never become the mass-market auto that was initially promised.

Having made headlines recently attending the Met Gala with new partner, SpaceX CEO/Tesla co-founder Elon Musk, Grimes has now defended her boyfriend after fans tweeted their concerns. Our testers also found flaws-big flaws-such as long stopping distances in our emergency braking test and difficult-to-use controls.

Despite the production problems Tesla has admitted to, as well as unaddressed rumored production issues, Tesla is claiming to be nearly ready to start delivering examples of its Model 3 equipped with an all-wheel drive dual-motor option.

Tesla maintains that the Model 3's average braking distance is 133 feet using 18-inch Michelin all-season tires, and as low as 126 feet with all tires now available. They do all of their tests on the same piece of asphalt, and the surface is monitored for consistent friction.

"Unlike other vehicles, Tesla is uniquely positioned to address more corner cases over time through over-the-air software updates, and it continually does so to improve factors such as stopping distance", Tesla said.

Tesla (TSLA) is already facing questions about whether it can build Model 3s fast enough to meet consumer demand, an issue that's worrying some investors.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk has been tweeting about a dual-motor Model 3 in a new version-all-wheel drive performance-that will have a range of 310 miles, a top speed of 115 mph, and will cost US$78,000, comparing it to a BMW M3 "but 15% quicker & with better handling".

Consumer Reports isn't the only publication Musk has responded to after negative coverage, either.

However, he also backpedaled to tweet, "Even if a physical upgrade is needed to existing fleet, we will make sure all Model 3's having wonderful braking ability at no expense to customers". Second, Musk indicated that the issue could very well be something that can be fixed via an over-the-air software update. However, it is important to note that Tesla is still considered a youngster in the automotive sector, says Neil Saunders, Managing Director of consumer research house GlobalData Retail.

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