Tesla Model 3 Not Recommended By Consumer Reports

Tesla Inc.’s (TSLA) Model 3 has failed to find a place on the “recommended” list by the influential American magazine Consumer Reports, which is published by a nonprofit organization and provides product ratings and reviews. It claims to review more than 5,000 products each year.

The influential magazine cites a variety of factors for its recommendation. Prominent among those was the problem of slower braking, an issue acknowledged by CEO Elon Musk on Monday evening. (See also: Tesla's Musk Admits Model 3 Braking Issue, Promises Fix.)

Issues with Model 3

When braking at the speed of 60 mph during the test, the Model 3 car had a stopping distance of 152 feet. It fared worse than the stopping distance of any standard car, and about seven feet more than that of a full-sized pickup truck like the Ford F-150. The findings by Consumer Reports contradicts Tesla’s earlier claims where it reported a braking distances of around 133 feet.

The magazine also criticized the car for “having overly long stopping distances and a difficult-to-use center touchscreen,” according to The Globe and Mail. The magazine said that it had sourced a second privately owned Model 3, but did not mention the age of the cars used for its testing. 

Musk played down the reports of “big flaws” as claimed by Consumer Reports, and mentioned that the issues with braking “will be fixed with a software update within days.” He attributed the possibility of variance in the stopping distance to a calibration algorithm associated with the ABS system.

Analysts' Assess Impact of Report

Analysts view the recent Consumer Reports story as a negative for Tesla. "While the negative reports of braking issues will not deter Tesla brand enthusiasts, it might raise doubts among the more casual buyer," said Neil Saunders, managing director of consumer research house GlobalData Retail. "It is important not to be too harsh on Tesla as other vehicles have had their share of safety and technical issues. The issue for Tesla is that unlike other car companies, it is a young brand that needs to win people over, so can’t afford too many missteps."

The car is an eagerly awaited key product from the stable of the renowned electric vehicle maker. The company continues to face questions over production issues, though recent updates indicate that it will start producing around 3,500 cars per week. (See also: Model 3 Production at 500 Cars/Day: Musk Email.)

Over the weekend, a series of tweets from the CEO Musk revealing specs and features for a new upgraded version of the Model 3 helped lift the stock price. (See also: Musk Reveals a Model 3 'Quicker than BMW'.)

Tesla shares were trading at a price of $280.55 during Tuesday morning.

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