Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
×
Transportation Power The Internet Technology

Tesla Model 3 Falls Short of Consumer Reports Recommendation (cnbc.com) 297

Consumer Reports published their review of the Tesla Model 3 today. The product review site liked the vehicle's range of the battery and agile handling, but had issues with braking, controls, and ride quality. Overall, it failed to get a recommendation. CNBC highlights the key shortfalls: "Our testers also found flaws -- big flaws -- such as long stopping distances in our emergency braking test and difficult-to-use controls," said a review in the publication. In particular, the car's stopping distance of 152 feet from a speed of 60 miles per hour was slower than any of its contemporaries, including the Ford F-150, a full-size pickup. The location of almost all of Tesla's controls on a touchscreen and the vehicle's ride quality were also factors in the group's decision. Tesla issued a statement in response to Consumer Reports' stopping distance claim: "Tesla's own testing has found braking distances with an average of 133 feet when conducting the 60-0 mph stops using the 18-inch Michelin all season tire and as low as 126 feet with all tires currently available. Stopping distance results are affected by variables such as road surface, weather conditions, tire temperature, brake conditioning, outside temperature, and past driving behavior that may have affected the brake system. Unlike other vehicles, Tesla is uniquely positioned to address more corner cases over time through over-the-air software updates, and it continually does so to improve factors such as stopping distance."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Tesla Model 3 Falls Short of Consumer Reports Recommendation

Comments Filter:
  • Won't matter (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @06:16PM (#56649804) Journal

    Most people buy Tesla's to be cool, not to be practical.

    • Is that like Upgraadde with a Double D for the Double Dose of Pimping. This one has a double Acent Grave for the Double Dose of Awesome

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @06:24PM (#56649852)
    CR doesn't accept manufacturer-provided samples for testing. They pose as a buyer and buy the product just as a regular customer would. This includes cars. So the car they test in their review is a true random sample. If Tesla is getting 133 ft stopping distances in their internal testing, while CR got a 152 ft stopping distance, that would suggest a QA problem at Tesla is resulting in large variability in the effectiveness of the brakes. Which given all the problems they've had with their Model 3 production wouldn't be that surprising.
    • by mellon ( 7048 )

      In that case how did they get a car? At this point it's invitation only. I haven't noticed an issue with stopping power—it seems quite good.

      • Probably because a poorly stopping contemporary car still does better than one from 10 or 15 years ago... hence 'seems quite good'
        • What? At the performance end, cars ARE stopping a _little_ shorter. Brembo 6 pistons, factory big brakes etc. but 99% tires being better.

          Average cars are still average cars. 1 piston calipers, average low cost discs etc. Very little new under the sun. Even active, individual wheel ABS was available 15 years ago. It still isn't on econo cars. The cheap end of ABS is still very cheap. 10 or 15 years ago ABS was already required and standard.

          There is a little improvement in tires. But 15 year old cars are

        • Report in 2011 with several cars made before 2003 22 cars that stop better than 100 feet from 60 [motortrend.com]

          That is at least 33 feet better than the Tesla, more like over 50 feet. And in a car that out accelerates half of them????

          • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @09:37PM (#56650724) Homepage

            (For anyone who cares) - Just minutes ago Musk responded [twitter.com] to this:

            Very strange. Model 3 is designed to have super good stopping distance & others reviewers have confirmed this. If there is vehicle variability, we will figure it out & address. May just be a question of firmware tuning, in which case can be solved by an OTA software update.

            Oh, now another [twitter.com]:

            Even if a physical upgrade is needed to existing fleet, we will make sure all Model 3’s having amazing braking ability at no expense to customers

            Lots of people responding that they think that the CR report is BS because their cars stop better than any other car they've ever had, yadda yadda... but I'm glad Musk isn't being dismissive.

            • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @09:40PM (#56650736) Homepage

              Another [twitter.com]:

              The CR braking result is inconsistent with other reviewers, but might indicate that some Model 3’s have longer braking distances than others. If so, we will address this at our expense. First time we’ve seen anything like this.

              Also responded to a person who wrote "Elon any chance of adding air compressors at Superchargers to fill up our tires ??" with "Good point. Yeah, we will do that for the bigger locations."

              • by Rei ( 128717 )

                More updates after I went to bed:

                Looks like this can be fixed with a firmware update. Will be rolling that out in a few days. With further refinement, we can improve braking distance beyond initial specs. Tesla won’t stop until Model 3 has better braking than any remotely comparable car.

                Also, Consumer Reports has an early production car. Model 3 now has improved ride comfort, lower wind noise & many other small improvements. Will request that they test current production

                To be clear, all Model 3 ca

            • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

              It's a little bit scary that an OTA firmware update can alter braking ability. Normally such firmware gets extensive testing...

              • by Rei ( 128717 )

                How does it make a difference whether the update comes in over the air or whether you have to drive your car in to a dealership?

                • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

                  You wake up one day, start driving to work and surprise your brakes are less effective today!

                  Japanese Teslas don't get updates these days because the regulator isn't happy about this potential.

        • I have a 25 year old car that does it in 114 so color me unimpressed. It's all about contact patch vs weight unless you're going for repeated stops (aka brake fade), and in an EV one is small (low rolling resistance = more range) and the other is big (lots of batteries = more range).
      • by farble1670 ( 803356 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @07:44PM (#56650232)

        In that case how did they get a car? At this point it's invitation only.

        How'd you get yours? Maybe they got an invitation?

        I haven't noticed an issue with stopping power—it seems quite good.

        I'm going to go with decades of experience testing cars over random guy on the internet.

    • by scamper_22 ( 1073470 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @07:32PM (#56650166)

      Isn't it amazing how CR idea of testing makes more sense to me than the government testing.

      Even for all these emissions scandals that we've been hit with. Wouldn't it make more sense to just take a random car and drive it around the city with some stops and then on a clear highway.

      You'd get a pretty good sampling of the needed data. It might not be exact enough to distinguish a car with 7.0 L/100 KM versus 7.2 L/100 KM. But who really cares about that 0.2 as a consumer.

      • by djinn6 ( 1868030 )
        I wonder how reproducible CR's method is. Brake testing is relatively simple, but for fuel efficiency, there are a lot of environmental factors that can affect the results, such as quality of the road surface, minor elevation changes, tire inflation, altitude, air pressure, temperature, wind, size of cars in front of you, quality of the fuel, and driver habits.
      • But the variability of everyday driving is far more than 0.2 l/100 km. I've seen as much as 2 l/100 km variation on the same stretch of road due to weather (temp, wind) and traffic.

    • If Tesla is getting 133 ft stopping distances in their internal testing, while CR got a 152 ft stopping distance, that would suggest a QA problem at Tesla

      Or more likely it would represent variances in testing. Where's your control group?

  • Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @06:24PM (#56649856)

    Unlike other vehicles, Tesla is uniquely positioned to address more corner cases over time through over-the-air software updates, and it continually does so to improve factors such as stopping distance."

    Eyeroll. I'm sure you'll be able to make major changes to stopping distance via a software update.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      regenerative braking

      • regenerative braking

        In an emergency braking scenario, the ability of the regen system to absorb energy should never be the limiting factor. Teslas do regen, but they also have brake pads. Sure, you put as much energy as possible back into the battery, but the brake pads should also be engaged so that the limiting factor is the static friction between the tire and the road.

        The only software that should matter is the firmware in the ABS. I doubt if that can be modified OTA.

        • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by dmitrygr ( 736758 ) <dmitrygr@gmail.com> on Monday May 21, 2018 @07:16PM (#56650098) Homepage

          I doubt if that can be modified OTA.

          Prepare to be terrified

        • Also model 3 is RWD only. So regen only happens on the rear wheels. Most consider 2/3 of braking force of a hard stop to be from the front wheels.

          It is a (relatively) heavy car, granted the F150 is a couple hundred pounds more, but trucks get some big brakes because they often have to stop some big loads and trailers. The Tesla will need similar to compete. But likely do not have as much room behind the front wheels to put them, or the cooling flow.

        • I doubt if that can be modified OTA.

          Go ask Michael Hastings

    • Eyeroll. I'm sure you'll be able to make major changes to stopping distance via a software update.

      Are you ignorant of just how much software and fine tuning is involved in the ABS systems that you rely on to bring your car to a stop in these incredibly short distances?

  • by l0ungeb0y ( 442022 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @06:24PM (#56649858) Homepage Journal
    Fly my pretties, fly!
  • Were they using Chrome on the car, with custom settings?

  • Oh Noes !

    Some not-very-cheap car that you can only buy next year (if you're lucky) has the same stopping distance as a Ferd F-teenthousand.

    But when will we see Slashdot articles about the New Dacia Sandero ? (read last part in James May's voice)

  • Meanwhile: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rei ( 128717 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @06:31PM (#56649882) Homepage

    From MotorTrend's testing [motortrend.com]:

    Nine times out of 10, this first brake application and steering cut says most of what I need to know; up ahead are loopy black tire marks where a few notable sport sedans have already half-spun. As the arc of orange cones appears on the right, I straighten my ankle into the brake pedal. The 3’s nose barely sinks, I can lower it like a micrometer, as I’m gauging my stopping rate to within a foot or two. Very precise braking.

    They measured an average braking distance of 119ft, vs. 123 ft for the BMW 330i.

    Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against CR. But their testing mechanisms often seem really poorly controlled. Which can go either way - they found a 350 mile range for the Model 3 LR with 18" wheels, which is well further than normal. Their range measurement isn't a drive cycle, it's just a guy driving, which is obviously going to introduce a lot of randomness. One likes to hope that their braking tests are better controlled, but somehow I doubt that. They got hugely divergent braking distance results on the Model 3, with their first measure being around 130 feet, but others much higher dragging the average up.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      They're following an industry standard test.
      • The industry standard set when there is no regenerative braking possible in the cars.
        • and how is that relevant? all that is relevant is how long it takes for the car to stop. (also note the motor trend one was not average, 119 was the best, it also was between laps as the vehicle and tires were cooling so most likely also done with warm tires).
  • â"big flawsâ" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @06:33PM (#56649894)

    "Our testers also found flawsâ"big flawsâ"

    I see another flaw right there, but this one is not Tesla's fault.

  • Hybrid brakes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @06:49PM (#56649968)

    Teslas probably use some combination of regenerative braking and traditional friction brakes with brake pads. This smells like the automated system isn't aggressive enough in engaging the friction brakes when the pedal is hit hard -- they probably prioritize using the brakes to recharge the batteries and not wearing out the brake pads. Maybe the software needs to be rewritten to prioritize friction braking when the pedal is pressed "suddenly."

    As far as the giant LCD, it's abominable. It intrudes into the passenger and driver seat spaces and is likely easily broken due to its design. I've often put furniture or even lumber into a car's front passenger seat -- in the Tesla, this would virtually guarantee damage to the screen. It's also not tactile and hard to use with gloves on in winter.

    The 2018 Leaf has a much more practical interior, even if it's not artsy-fartsy minimalist.

    • This smells like the automated system isn't aggressive enough in engaging the friction brakes when the pedal is hit hard

      I don't think that Tesla brakes work like that. You lift off the accelerator and you get full regenerative braking. Then you push on the brake pedal and you get brake application. Tesla doesn't modulate the brake pedal for regenerative braking.

      Other possibilities: firmware update overnight or bad test methodology.

    • Stock model S has similar issues with stopping distance, you need much bigger brakes to stop a heavier car. Most S packages have a seriously up-sized brake package that gets the stopping numbers in the ballpark. Batteries are heavy, tires for heavy cars with low rolling resistance (ie more range) are also not the best at stopping.

      Also keep in mind, Model 3 is rear wheel drive only, so regen only happens on the rear wheels. 2/3 of hard braking is generally considered to be front wheels only, so the Tesla

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Maybe they tested with a full battery. When the battery is fully charged regen is disabled or reduced. Same on the Leaf. I think it also reduces when the battery is very cold or hot.

  • Lets keep in mind that the Model 3 is really a $75,000 car. It is NOT a $35,000 car. You cannot buy one for $35,000 (and it may never become available at all). Meanwhile other companies are producing affordable EVs, right now. Nissan and Hyundai have EVs that you can buy today starting at around $30,000. Ford and Chevy also make affordable EVs. The Chevy Bolt is around $38,000.

    Tesla is a terrible investment. They are stopping their Model 3 production line again. Executives and engineers are leaving. They j
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by vtcodger ( 957785 )

      Plus which, both Ford and Toyota make plug-in hybrids with msrp around $32,000 that look to be far more practical vehicles for folks that want an EV for local driving, but would like to take the occasional long trip without spending hours hanging out in parking areas in the middle of nowhere recharging their batteries.

  • by Fly Swatter ( 30498 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @06:55PM (#56649998) Homepage

    The location of almost all of Tesla's controls on a touchscreen

    I want controls you can adjust without looking, and with gloves in the winter. Why is every car getting away from usability? It is a horrible trend.

    Also if the brakes are simply under sized, how is that fixed with a firmware update?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by vtcodger ( 957785 )

      "I want controls you can adjust without looking, and with gloves in the winter. Why is every car getting away from usability? It is a horrible trend."

      Amen, Brother! The electronics on the recent vehicles I've come into contact with are ghastly beyond belief. They are a large part of why I've opted to install a GPS, backup camera and modern radio in our 2005 Sentra instead of buying a new car.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is a car designed by Californians. Techy Californians at that. Of course it will all be through apps and touch screens. They don't know what winter gloves are either.

    • Yes, you can do it in Model 3.

      Press the scroll ball in the right spoke of the steering and say what you want, the speech command will it all for you. Reduce temp, increase fan speed, call home. call bozo the clown, drive home, drive to 1234, main street, sometown, New Jersey, drive to Walmart... The music control, volume control, turn indicators, wiper, windshield washer, shifter are all traditional.

    • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

      Also if the brakes are simply under sized, how is that fixed with a firmware update?

      I agree that couldn't be addressed with a firmware update. But I didn't see any indication that "undersized brakes" was the cause of the problem. My default assumption is that the Tesla's firmware has to decide how much breaking to do via regenerative braking and how much to do via friction braking, and that it currently optimizes for regenerative (hence range) at the expense of short stopping distance. This kind of thing could certainly be fixed by a firmware update.

    • Also if the brakes are simply under sized

      There's basically no cars on the market with undersized breaks. The stopping distance is related to weight, its distribution, suspension, tires, and then software ... like ABS and regenerative breaking systems.

  • by mschuyler ( 197441 ) on Monday May 21, 2018 @09:47PM (#56650762) Homepage Journal

    A long time ago I saw a joke in either Car & Driver or maybe it was Road & Track. In the background were several bespectacled men in white lab coats with clipboards making notes as cars were being driven off a cliff. In the foreground are two guys. One says to the other, "Oh, that's just Consumer Reports testing cars again"

    And as for their "statistical analyses" they are a joke. They only survey CR subscribers. They won't disclose their numbers. They won't disclose their methodology. They seem to feel it is all proprietary. And it goes without saying they have no numbers at all on the Model 3. It's too bad people take these jokers seriously.

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.

Working...