Consumer Reports now recommends Model 3 after braking distance fix

Consumer Reports now recommends Model 3 after braking distance fix

After Tesla pushed out a software update that reduced the braking distance by 20 ft, CR now recommends the Model 3!

Yay for the Model 3!

wiboater4 | 30. kan 2018

Yeah , just saw that too. Stock is up and rising. Getting closer to July.

eriojasm | 30. kan 2018

You have to wonder at the ability to change braking distance with a software update. We live in incredible times

mos6507 | 30. kan 2018

[our testers had other areas of concern as well. They found issues with the Model 3’s wind noise, stiff ride, and uncomfortable rear seat. Last week, Musk told CR in a conversation that the automaker had already made changes to its production line to address those three issues.]

I'm skeptical about Musk addressing all three of these issues, at least the seating position one as I don't think they want to compromise rear headroom. The die was cast on that design compromise, but I'm interested in finding out one way or another.

hoffmannjames | 30. kan 2018


Tesla can reduce the wind noise with a thicker glass roof, the stiff ride with better suspension and lower tire pressure and the uncomfortable rear seat with a softer seat. A better rear seat won't fix the lack of leg room or head room but can mitigate the issue a bit by at least providing a softer cushion for the person's butt. I also saw a video that Tesla is using wider front seats so that might help with making the front seats more comfortable too.

Mike83 | 30. kan 2018

I don't such nit picking with GM or Ford or Fiat Chrysler who has much more serious issues. Very amusing.

carlk | 30. kan 2018

"I'm skeptical about Musk addressing all three of these issues, ...."

Or anything he says. No?

BTW the stiff ride and wind noise have already been addressed by Tesla after CR got its early production car. As for the rear sitting, which is not that bad to begin with, every car has design compromises. You buy a sleek sports sedan and that's what you will get. Even Boxster that has zero back seat sitting capacity has earned CR top rating. So there you have it.

Rutrow | 30. kan 2018

Wind noise can be addressed with an OTA update. Just make the audio system volume increase with the speed.

I wonder if there could also be a noise canceling signal added. The vehicle has a microphone. It could provide the source data for an anti-wave. It would probably have to optimized for only the driver's position. I don't know if a signal would be effective for the entire vehicle. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

carlk | 30. kan 2018

Noise canceling signal sure will work and would be easy to implement although I kind of doubt the car has wind noise problem other than manufacturing defects. Remember it is the car with the best aerodynamics in its class.

95dawg | 30. kan 2018

"Until now, that type of remote improvement to a car’s basic functionality had been unheard of. “I’ve been at CR for 19 years and tested more than 1,000 cars,” says Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, “and I’ve never seen a car that could improve its track performance with an over-the-air update.”"

Welcome to the dawn of the new automotive world.

SamO | 30. kan 2018

Meh . . . they recommend the car, but owners already know we are driving the best car ever made.

It's not even close. Plus, you can charge at home and never have to support a Saudi prince or Texas oilman.

Rear seats are fine.

My suspension was upgraded and it "seems" a bit more forgiving, but IDK for sure.

I love the touchscreen and the improvements to controls. But I was fine with how they were, also. The cruise /following updates to the steering wheel are occasionally helpful on longer trips.

ravisundaramam | 30. kan 2018

It looks like the three stooges are paid snoops.

They are checking what postings elicit responses and defensive rejoinders. Probably some low level flunkies of some focus testing outfit trying to optimize the advertising and marketing campaigns of some competitor. Very unemotional, they are not getting distracted by insults and other personal messages. Staying focused on posting what their handlers ask them to post.

Best to ignore them, or give misleading responses.

ravisundaramam | 30. kan 2018

The mirrors and the steering positions are already adjustable through the scroll balls on the steering wheel. Only the selection of what gets adjusted needs the touch screen. It can be done through voice control, if it is not already so.

So if Right scroll ball click, say, "Adjust right mirror" or "Adjust left mirror" or "adjust steering" and you can do it with the left scroll ball, Tesla is way ahead of most other car makers.

If it is not already there, can be done using OTA update. Music and phone are not critical, and they are a distraction and there is no real better solution inside or outside Tesla. Ride has been adjusted.

johnyi | 30. kan 2018

One other thought on the rear seats is to tilt the front part of the seat cushion up a bit, to give some more thigh support.

FWIW, the rear seat does sit low but as long as the front seat isn't too far back, there's enough leg room for an average sized person to stretch their legs forward so their thigh comes down to the cushion. But there's no thigh support for tall people. Some apparently don't mind it.

That must have been some record - 7 work days from report to problem fixed and retested. Glad CR jumped right on the retest (I thought they might, they are a pretty nerdy bunch and I think this new tech fascinates them). It's already on their home page too, though don't hold your breath that the media will follow up as fast (or at all):

Overall score went from a 73 to a 77. Now #3 of 15 luxury compacts, behind only BMW 3 series (78) and A4 (85).

willowtip | 30. kan 2018

will get 1/100th of the press as the initial article not recommending - which is a shame. what Tesla did no other company in the world could do without a total recall.

SamO | 30. kan 2018

400,000 people and growing means that this press is meaningless. Very few cancellations and many happy customers. Happy customers = more happy customers.

The shorts/trolls/fakes know this. So the best way to create unhappy customers is to inflate fake problems with real customers.

Too bad it has never worked with real Tesla owners. You can only pretend to have a reservation for so long.

Tesla has banned posters who pretend to be owners, plus private threads.

This will not work

vmulla | 30. kan 2018

Can someone give input on what exactly changed?
What was the stopping distance before, and what is it now?
I want to feel safer, so please give me something to compare.

jithesh | 30. kan 2018

This is the highlight which sets Tesla apart from any other car maker..

Until now, that type of remote improvement to a car’s basic functionality had been unheard of. “I’ve been at CR for 19 years and tested more than 1,000 cars,” says Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, “and I’ve never seen a car that could improve its track performance with an over-the-air update.”

mli76 | 30. kan 2018

OTA updates are truly revolutionary and Tesla is the only car manufacturer that is looking at cars through a digital lens. The rest of the auto manufacturers are stuck on analog.

dmm1240 | 30. kan 2018


The CR test is an emergency stop from 60' to 0'. The distance it takes to stop is the issue. Somewhere in the low to mid 130s' is normal for a car in the M3's class. While it is rare that a car would see its emergency braking applied more than once, CR likes to be sure and does it several times in succession. This does not mean putting on an emergency brake. This test is to simulate when you round a corner doing 60 mph to find a car stopped dead in front of you so you stomp on the brake pedal hoping not to run into it.

The M3 stopped just fine on the first round. However, Consumer Reports tests rigorously and does it several times. The M3 hit in the low 150' range on the 2nd, 3rd, etc rounds which caused CR to not recommend the M3.

Tesla looked at the governing software immediately after the CR came out and determined that there was a problem with the algorithm that controlled emergency braking in this situation. A quick fix was pushed out to all M3s on the road within a few days.

CR has now retested and found that the new algorithm works just fine with an average stopping distance of 133'. Therefore, they've changed the M3 to a "Recommend" rating, a designation highly sought by automakers.

IOW, Tesla failed the first time, passed with flying colors the seconds.

johnmann | 30. kan 2018

Noise cancellation works well only if the cancelling signal is introduced either at the source of the unwanted noise (must be a point source) or in or very near to the ear of the listener. It would be very difficult to effectively implement in an automobile.

Sparky | 30. kan 2018

Wind noise, braking distance, and even range can be dramatically improved by driving slower.

You're welcome.

eeb9 | 30. kan 2018


You are, of course, correct

Buy a slower car

You’re welcome


diegoPasadena | 30. kan 2018

What wind noise are they talking about? Mine is quiet as can be.

Tropopause | 30. kan 2018

And though it all, CR reaped the publicity they desperately need to stay afloat in this age of free feedback.

carlk | 30. kan 2018

dmm1240 I have a different take on that than yours. Tesla did not fail other than it did not know anyone would do repeated 60-0 hard(est) brake that we will never see in the real world. From the wording I don't think the longer stopping distance showed up at the second or third try like you said. CR only said they saw variations with stopping distance as long as 153 feet at later stage of the testing.

Tropo Yes CR is happy now and Tesla is happy too. A good move by Elon. Only people who are disappointed are those shorts.

TexasBob | 30. kan 2018

I have to say, this is just freaking awesome. CR points out a flaw, less than a week later we have a fix already operational in our vehicle. I love it.

Rocky_H | 30. kan 2018

I just came in here to read the apologies from @mos and @Shock. Hmm..... I'm not seeing them. Has anyone else found them yet?

johnyi | 30. kan 2018

Tropo, that free internet feedback is worth what you paid for it. Take this forum for example. Can someone determine how reliable the Model 3 is from looking at these posts? How many people complaining are even real owners? How do we know how many are out there that have no issues at all but haven't bothered to write about it?

I don't quite understand the CR bashing here. For any Tesla fans that actually believe in the mission statement, take a look at CR and you'll realize they stand for a lot of the same things, like highway safety, environment and a sustainable future.

jjgunn | 30. kan 2018

mos666 | May 30, 2018

"I'm skeptical...."

HAHAHAHAHA I'm liking this persons posts more & more

FYI ..... TSLA at close today

Market Summary > Tesla Inc
291.72 USD +7.96 (2.81%)
Closed: May 30, 4:51 PM EDT · Disclaimer
After hours 292.00 +0.28 (0.096%)

Shorts are unhappy - They just lost $800 on a hundred shares or about the same as a brake pad replacement on their BMW's - provided the rotors don't need work

rxlawdude | 30. kan 2018

@Rocky, I never see stuff from those two. Thank goodness for the twit filter.

carlk | 30. kan 2018

@johnyi CR is not the same organization we knew years ago. It has sold its soul for income and survival. Besides that even when it was still objective it was not known to be always right.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 30. kan 2018

johnyi noted, "Now #3 of 15 luxury compacts, behind only BMW 3 series (78) and A4 (85)."

Hmmm... 'luxury compacts', eh...? Disappointing that Consumer Reports would stick to market segments instead of actual dimensions of vehicles when it comes to size groups. AUDI A4, BMW 3-Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class are all officially classified as Compact cars by the EPA. The Tesla Model 3 is a Midsize car by their criteria. What are the overall ratings at CR for the A6, 5-Series, and E-Class?

carlk: I'll have to research it I guess.... But I seem to remember that different automobile magazines test braking different ways. Between Car and Driver, Motor Trend, and Road & Track I seem to remember one of them does their braking from 70-to-0 MPH, while the others do something else. I think they probably do maybe five runs, throw out the longest and shortest, then average the three that are left. It's been a very long while since I compared them, so I most certainly could be wrong...

ChrisH314 | 30. kan 2018

20ft off the braking is good, but 130-ish feet 60-0 braking still isn't top-of-the-class. As a Tesla fan, I'd like to see it as good as it could be, of course. Which led me to wonder: do they put the motors into reverse to aid the brakes in an emergency stop? If not, could they? Would it make enough difference to be worthwhile?

carlk | 30. kan 2018

Yes and that is called regen braking. It can be turned on full although CR probably set it at low when they did the test to make it the same as regular cars.

johnyi | 30. kan 2018

@Red, technically you are correct about EPA volume (M3 is a whole 3 cu ft bigger than the 3 series, but it does jump to the next class). But I think CR considers price too. If they had put it in the midsized luxury bucket, it would fall to 9th out of 20, behind the more expensive 5 series, E class, A6, GS, G80, etc. Doesn't seem like a fair fight.

I think most people would be cross shopping the M3 with those compact luxury vehicles, not these. When you consider the fuel savings, even a fully loaded M3 costs about the same to own as the compact luxury cars.

slasher0016 | 30. kan 2018

Wind noise and stiff ride were already fixed by time CR reviewed. They had an early production car. So basically, their only complaint is the touch screen, but that's really subjective. I love it now that I'm used to it. Screw physical dials all over the place.

PessimiStick | 30. kan 2018

@ChrisH314 - Running the motors in reverse wouldn't help you stop faster, just cause less pad wear. The limiting factor is the tires. Any modern car could lock the wheels if it wanted to with all season tires. ABS is doing the real work.

oragne lovre | 30. kan 2018


You are, of course, correct too.

Buy a car with a lightning acceleration on demand.

Slow down to enjoy beautiful landscapes through panoramic views and premium sound.

You're welcome!


Anthonygonsalvesjr | 30. kan 2018

When will I get this update?

Ross1 | 31. kan 2018

When I test drove a Model S I figured it had excessive wind noise. Haven't been near a 3 yet.

Tesla-David | 31. kan 2018

Seattle Times today had great article about the M3 OTA brake fix ( Great story which will definitely help TSLA stock. The OTA updates are prominently discussed and featured as huge wakeup call to the Auto industry, which is seriously trailing behind Tesla, where folks have to bring the cars to a dealer to get fixed. This is huge advantage and shows how inventive Tesla is and way ahead of the curve. Go Tesla! ;0)

mos6507 | 31. kan 2018

"Just make the audio system volume increase with the speed."

That already happens...with phantom touch. Of course, it will blow your eardrums out in the process and make you deaf like the guy from Edmunds, but it solves the wind/road noise problem.

As far as every car involving compromises, the whole deal was "can't have a hatch because we want better rear headroom". Well, they solved one problem and caused another. If rear comfort was going to be compromised they should have put in a hatch and at least the car would have had more overall utility. It's a design fail.

johnyi | 31. kan 2018

Not to over-rotate on CR, but they published another video on M3, focused mainly on OTA's plusses and minuses. Seems one guy is pretty much a Tesla fan, comparing it to a cell phone, while the other two still skeptical and prefer the existing "I bought a 2017 model "X" and prefer it not to change" model. Anyone who has experienced the perceived drop in acceleration after the update a few weeks ago can attest to the negatives of OTA when it does something you don't like. The inability to revert back to a previous firmware version could become a problem as well.

carlk | 31. kan 2018

What is "perceived" drop in acceleration means? It's easy to verify did anyone actually do that?

PhillyGal | 31. kan 2018

This is the part legacy automakers should most fear - the ability to improve a car after it's off the lot.

Rutrow | 31. kan 2018

+1 PG. Legacy manufactures are sitting silently in their offices, mouths agape and doe eyed, wondering how they're going to compete against a car company that can address a complaint from a buyers magazine with what amounts to an email, while they're stuck having to try for a redesign for the next model year, or a massive recall. They're toast.

johnyi | 31. kan 2018

@carlk, I said "perceived" because so far no one has posted a before/after 0-60 run, or any objective data measuring the difference. And not all owners have even felt the difference. So far we just have some owners reporting a seat of the pants difference, and some not, and it seems to just be off-the-line reaction, not an overall reduction in power. It's all subjective right now. So I believe "perceived" is the right term to use to describe it, until we have objective measures.

dyefrog | 31. kan 2018

Let's see how long it takes Chrysler to fix the 5.3 million cars with faulty cruise control. Similar issue to what Tesla had with the brakes being that it's possibly a software tweak and happened about the same time. After 1 week, Tesla's is 100% fixed.
Chrysler, not so much.
The NHTSA said drivers could overpower the system by forcefully applying the brakes until the vehicle stopped. Fiat Chrysler also said the vehicle could be stopped by shifting into neutral and braking.
Somehow this seems much more dangerous than the isolated faulty brake test yet doesn't seem to get the media's attention. Why is that I wonder?

SamO | 31. kan 2018

I don't want a car that gets better. I want a car that was perfect the first time. - Tesla Critic

Where is this "perfect" mythical car? None can EVER point to the perfect car or perfect carmaker.

So from where my Model3-updating-ass is sitting, it looks like sour grapes.

mos6507 | 31. kan 2018

Repeat after me: two wrongs don't make a right. Stop fishing around for recall issues with the other brands and expect Tesla to get it right the first time, especially when it comes to features directly related to driver safety.