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.

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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.