Tesla CEO Musk promises Model 3 braking fix

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday the electric car maker will fix a braking problem in some Model 3 compact sedans after Consumer Reports dinged the company’s newest vehicle over long stopping distances.

Consumer Reports, whose automotive ratings are closely followed by car shoppers and the industry, didn’t give its recommendation for the Model 3 over poor emergency braking results and hard-to-use controls, according to a review published Monday.

In a series of comments on Twitter, Musk said the magazine’s brake tests were inconsistent with other reviewers. Tesla responded to the Consumer Reports review by saying its own tests revealed a 60-to-0 mph stopping distance of 133 feet, shorter than Consumer Reports’ average result of 152 feet.

But Musk acknowledged that the discrepancy could be a sign that early-production versions of the Model 3 “have longer braking distances than others.” Tesla expects to provide an over-the-air software update in a matter of days.

“Looks like this can be fixed with a firmware update,” Musk wrote. “Will be rolling that out in a few days. With further refinement, we can improve braking distance beyond initial specs.”

He said he will ask Consumer Reports to test a Model 3 that was more recently built.

“[Consumer Reports] is pleased that Tesla is taking our braking test results seriously. That they are committed to implementing a fix and improving stopping distances on the Model 3 is good for everyone on the road,” Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports, said in a statement. “If Tesla can update the brakes over the air--an industry first--we’d be happy to retest our Model 3.”

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Musk said if a physical upgrade is required, Tesla will provide repairs at no cost to owners.