Consumer Reports has been able to grab a lot of headlines with its ratings on the Tesla Model S. Earlier this year, Tesla’s stock plummeted after they downgraded Model S because the new vehicles with the second generation Autopilot hardware didn’t have Automatic Emergency Braking.
Now they are giving back the Model S’ top safety rating after Tesla updated the feature.
As we reported at the time, Tesla pushed Automatic Emergency Braking the same week that they downgraded the vehicle, but it was only enabled up to 28 mph.
In June, Tesla updated the feature to work at full speed just like the first generation Autopilot and now over a month later, Consumer Reports says that it tested the feature and updated its rating:
“CR’s engineers then verified at our test track that the AEB operated at higher speeds by driving the electric Model S at a target that mimics the back of a car. We also verified that Tesla had sent the software update to its other cars by checking online forums and inspecting cars at Tesla dealerships.”
What is more difficult to understand is why they didn’t test the feature in the first place since the publication originally gave the car the top rating even though it didn’t have AEB between October 2016 and April 2017 when CR had the full safety rating.
It’s not the first time that Consumer Reports has made controversial moves to create headlines about Tesla – sometimes positive and sometimes negative. Most notoriously, the product review magazine said that the Model S was “the best car it had ever tested” and that it “broke its rating system”. It had to be modified because the P85D was so good that it scored 103 out of 100, which didn’t stick right with a lot of people.
Last year, they have been calling for Tesla to disable the Autopilot and change the name of the system – something Tesla refuses to do.