The Tesla Model 3’s awkward launch phase continues, and yet again Elon Musk has taken to Twitter to defend his product.
Piling on top of issues such as poor build quality and missed production milestones, we now have potentially rubbish brakes on Tesla’s electric car for the people.
Consumer Reports put a Model 3 through its rigorous testing process, and ultimately concluded that it couldn’t recommend the car to its readers, citing difficult to use controls and long stopping distances.
It’s the latter that’s causing a stir. In the magazine’s testing, the Model 3 took 152 feet to stop from 60mph, which was “far worse than any contemporary car we’ve tested and about 7 feet longer than the stopping distance of a Ford F-150 full-sized pickup.”
Tesla responded by saying that its testing puts the stopping distance at 133 feet, with Consumer Reports confirming that it managed 130 feet in its first test, but could not repeat that distance even after leaving the brakes to cool overnight. Testers even got in a second Model 3 to check it wasn’t a problem with that specific car, but recorded similar distances.
For some perspective, the magazine says that the Model 3 takes an extra 21 feet over the average of 131 feet for its class, and 25 feet further than the much larger Tesla Model X.
Consumer Reports also cites a Car and Driver review, which noted inconsistencies with the braking, but, naturally, Tesla boss Elon Musk took to Twitter to respond. He said: “Very strange. Model 3 is designed to have super good stopping distance and other reviewers have confirmed this. If there is vehicle variability, we will figure it out & address.”
Later, he added that it looked like the issue could be fixed with an over-the-air firmware update, which would be rolled out in a few days. He also claimed Consumer Reports was testing a pre-production model, and that there were improvements across the board for customer cars.
As always with Tesla, it’s difficult to know what to believe. However, if there are any braking issues, customers will be sure to address their concerns publicly once production ramps up and its not just fanboys and girls driving them.