Scratch that: Consumer Reports now recommends Tesla's Model 3

Scratch that: Consumer Reports now recommends Tesla's Model 3

Influential U.S. magazine Consumer Reports said on Wednesday it was recommending Tesla Inc's Model 3 sedan after its latest tests showed that a firmware update improved the car's braking distance by almost 20 feet. The magazine bought a Model 3 for the first test and said it doesn't normally rent test vehicles.

During its initial review of the Model 3, the consumer ratings publication found that the Model 3's stopping distance at 60 miles per hour - approximately 152 feet - was "far worse" than any recent model it had tested and "about seven feet longer than the stopping distance of a Ford F-150 full-sized pickup".

After giving Tesla (TSLA) a failing grade on its Model 3 sedan, Consumer Reports reversed its position Wednesday and gave the electric vehicle its recommendation. Of the 57 hybrid and electric vehicles Consumer Reports has reviewed, it ranked the Tesla Model 3 sixth, behind the front-running 2018 Toyota Prius.

We saw this happen in late 2015, when Consumer Reports assigned Tesla's Model S a "worse-than-average" rating in an annual report about the predicted reliability of new vehicles, knocking down the company's share price by more than 10 percent in one day.

Consumer Reports also complained that the Model 3 had a hard ride and excessive wind noise.

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Last year, Musk had said Tesla's cars could come to India in the summer of 2017, but there has not been any further development. Musk also suggested the car's 15-inch touchscreen display could receive an over-the-air update to make it easier to use.

"I've been at CR for 19 years and tested more than 1,000 cars, and I've never seen a auto that could improve its track performance with an over-the-air update", he said in a statement. "Road noise and ride comfort already addressed too". Musk said some of those problems could be addressed with over-the-air updates.

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

"Would love to be in India", Musk said in the Twitter posting.

The Model 3 sedan is seen as crucial to Tesla's profitability at a time when it is battling to reverse production shortfalls, confronting reports of crashes involving its vehicles and facing increased skepticism over its finances. May just be a question of firmware tuning, in which case can be solved by an OTA software update'.

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