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Consumer Reports lowered Tesla’s ratings over concerns about auto braking

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The automaker issued the over-the-air update the day before the report was issued

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Earlier this week, Consumer Reports lowered its ratings for Tesla’s Model S and Model X vehicles, saying that the company had yet to enable an automatic emergency braking safety feature, six months after it was announced. However, Tesla issued its over-the-air rollout of the system the day before.

While Tesla issued the update to activate the system on Tuesday, the magazine published its report on Wednesday, deducting points from the two models, “because the automaker had not yet enabled the automatic emergency braking safety feature.” In response, Tesla issued a statement: “Tesla confirmed that the over-the-air rollout of automatic emergency braking began yesterday,” and on Thursday, Consumer Reports confirmed that its test vehicle had received the update. Tesla announced a suite of updates back in October, which included the automatic emergency braking system, but noted at the time that its wouldn’t be activated until they were “robustly validated.”

The magazine pointed that the new 28 mph limit is still far below the 90 mph limit included on models built prior to October, but Tesla contends that that is the speed required by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. According to the magazine, Tesla said that the low limit is part of its rollout plan, and that the “higher limits will come later,” as it had done with prior rollouts of its initial system, HW1. Consumer Reports explained that once it “confirms that the vast majority of Tesla owners have received this new [AEB] update, the scores will be revisited.”

While Tesla enjoyed high ratings for some of its vehicles, its Model X earned a lower score last October due to problems with “malfunctions of the falcon-wing doors, water leaks, and infotainment and climate-control system problems.”

This story and headline has been updated following clarification from a Tesla spokesperson.