Braking news: Tesla preps firmware fling to 'fix' Model 3's inability to stop in time

Auto auto slammed for garbage stopping distance

Tesla Model 3

Tesla is to issue a firmware update before the weekend for its Model 3 to deal with a critical brake weakness that was highlighted by US website Consumer Reports.

The publication found lots to like about the 'leccy saloon, particularly its record-setting range and insanely fast acceleration – but when it came to slowing down the vehicle, concerns emerged.

Consumer Reports said its testers “found flaws – big flaws – such as long stopping distances in our emergency braking test and difficult-to-use controls.”

The stopping distance of 152 feet from 60mph was “far worse” than any of the 500 “contemporary” cars the publication has previously put through their paces. And it was “about seven feet longer than the stopping distance of a Ford F-150 full-sized pickup”.

For its part, Tesla said its own tests showed an average stopping distance of 133 feet based on a 60mph speed.

According to the UK's Highway Code, the typical stopping distance locally is measured at 73 metres, 240 feet or 18 car lengths.

The main Musketeer, a man called Elon, responded to the finding in the best way he knew how, via Twitter.

The Tesla boss also pointed out that Consumer Reports had an “early production car. Model 3 now has improved ride comfort, lower wind noise and many other small improvements. Will request that they test current production”.

He went on to say that all Model 3s “will have same great braking ability” but the “Nature of any product, however, is that if you care about perfection, you make constant small refinements. Today’s Model 3 is far more refined than initial production."

Luckily Elon didn’t find any of the questions he fielded on Twitter to be boring. His explanation for the variability in stopping distances was related to the “ABS calibration algorithm”. ®

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