Consumer Reports now gives Tesla Model 3 a thumb's up

SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk | AP

SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk | AP

Tesla's software update for the Model 3, pushed out to address criticisms of the electric car's braking performance, seems to have done the trick. A previous test - the results of which were released a little more than a week ago - found that it took 152 feet for the Model S compact auto to stop from 60, the longest braking distance of any modern vehicle the magazine has tested. The magazine bought a Model 3 for the first test and said it doesn't normally rent test vehicles.

Fast forward to today and Consumer Reports has revealed the update has significantly improved the situation.

This time instead of 152 feet to stop from 60 miles per hour it more closely matched Tesla's rated 133 feet for braking distance.

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Shortly after Consumer Reports gave the bad recommendation, Elon Musk took to Twitter to claim that the issues could be fixed with software updates. Long emergency stopping distances, difficult-to-use controls and a harsh ride had stopped the electric vehicle from getting a recommended buy rating from Consumer Reports.

Tesla's Model 3 has earned a recommendation from Consumer Reports. Model 3 now has improved ride comfort, lower wind noise & many other small improvements. It's great that Consumer Reports identified a serious issue and that Tesla addressed it as quickly as it did, but the fact that it was only brought to light last week might be worrisome to some prospective buyers. Musk also suggested the car's 15-inch touchscreen display could receive an over-the-air update to make it easier to use. Fisher, who has been at CR for 19 years and tested more than 1,000 cars said in the CR write up of the testing and new decision that he's "never seen a vehicle that could improve its track performance with an over-the-air update".

The updated brakes, while a large improvement, do not place the Model 3 at the top of its class, the publication said.

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A Tesla (TSLA) spokesperson told the magazine the software was updated to improve the brakes' performance with different drivers and in varying environmental conditions.

'The CR braking result is inconsistent with other reviewers, but might indicate that some Model 3s have longer braking distances than others, ' he said.

Shares of Tesla jumped almost 3.5% after the report was released by the consumer organization Wednesday.

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