Take the car to the dealer? Why bother. Welcome to the future.
With all of the production issues surrounding the Tesla Model 3 (reportedly now under control, more or less), one of the last things the electric car company wanted was for its latest vehicle not achieve the coveted ‘Recommended’ stamp by Consumer Reports. If you recall, the news came last week that CR did not recommend the Model 3 because of its poor stopping distance. Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded almost immediately that the issue could be remedied with a simple software fix. No need to take the vehicle to a service center. Impressive.
And now it’s happened. Musk announced on Twitter yesterday that a firmware fix for upgraded brake performance on the standard Model 3 began rolling out this past Friday. This “should improve braking distance by ~ 20 feet for repeated heavy braking events.” Musk also thanked Consumer Reports for discovering the issue at hand. And it’s a good thing the publication did. Testing showed the Model 3’s braking was slower than that of a full-size pickup truck, such as the Ford F-150. Coming to a standstill from 60 mph took 152 feet for the Model 3. By comparison, the F-150’s stopping distance required 145 feet.
Musk did state at the time that CR had tested an early build Model 3, indicating later vehicles off the line are not affected. Who knows, but it shouldn’t matter now considering the over the air update can provide the necessary fix. Jake Fisher, director of Consumer Reports vehicle testing, not only said a retest will soon happen, but also that Tesla’s over the air brake update was “an industry first.” Never light a crisis, big or small, go to waste.