Elon Musk Says Tesla Model 3 Updates Coming After Consumer Reports Found 'Big Flaws' [UPDATED]

Illustration for article titled Elon Musk Says Tesla Model 3 Updates Coming After Consumer Reports Found 'Big Flaws' [UPDATED]
Photo: Eric Armstrong

Following a Consumer Reports story yesterday, where the publication said it found “big flaws” with the Tesla Model 3's braking distance, touch screen and ride quality and thus denied it an official recommendation, Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded last night via Twitter that the car will get some updates. Update: Those update will include ABS calibrations.

Musk wrote that the inconsistent braking issues that CR discovered in its testing can be fixed with a “firmware update.” He also claimed that the outlet was conducting its testing on an “early production car” and that current Model 3s have improved.


In the CR testing, the Model 3's stopping distance from 60 mph was 152 feet, which the outlet wrote was “far worse than any contemporary car we’ve tested.” Concerning Musk’s new tweets, it points out in a new story today that automakers have used over-the-air updates to improve cars before, like when Tesla fixed its Summon Mode after Consumer Reports voiced safety concerns.

Summon Mode, however, is a software feature. Braking is traditionally a hardware issue, which is something that usually can’t be fixed with an over-the-air update. It is possible to update the electronics that control the hardware, though, like if the ABS is kicking in too early.

It’s unclear what would be updated in the firmware updates that Musk promised. Additionally, if the Model 3 indeed “now has improved ride comfort, lower wind noise & many other small improvements” as he says it does, does that mean that there are other things on the early production cars that also need “improving”?


We’ve reached out to Tesla for comment and will update if we hear back.

Update May 23, 10:30 a.m.: Musk confirmed via Twitter that the firmware update would include an ABS calibration algorithm.


Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.

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Honestly I am NO Elon Musk fan (honestly it may seem like it after this but I am coming at it from a business perspective), but why does it seem that everyone is so hard on him and his company? He took basically just a “idea” and turned it into a ACTUAL CAR COMPANY with 3 models (4 if you include the 1st roadster) in 15 years!??! Not some Local Motors Rally Fighter, Singer Porsche or ICON 4X4 or FISKER but ACTUAL volume cars with a production line.

The argument I always hear is that because the cars are so expensive so therefore they must be held to a higher standard. Most any boutique car manufacturer cant even come close at this price point to developing a car with such one off technology actually inventing and innovating as things progress and feedback is received. Not even the large manufactures had the will power to even try with much more resources and “experience” in car manufacturing.

PLUS he actually tries to fix problems. A tweet to him can lead to actual changes in hardware of software. What other car company with this many models can do this.

While companies like the FOCUS RS and its head gasket failure are just “accepted” and par for the course for a large automaker. Every little thing with a Tesla gets analyzed with a microscope it seems.

On top of that he has Space X and Solar City each with their own issues. I know its easy to hate Elon Musk and Tesla because “reasons” but damm I can not even fathom how much work, money and stress it would take to build an actual car company in 15 years.