Consumer Reports, which provides an annual rating to cars sold in the United States, lowered its rating for the Tesla Model S early Tuesday. The Model S lost its top safety rating in the ultra-luxury car category because it failed to install an automatic emergency braking feature, the magazine said.
Lack of safety features lowers Model S rating
Tesla had promised car owners the automatic emergency braking feature as standard equipment, but it was still missing in the Model S, which is why it fell from the top spot in the ultra-luxury car category to the third spot. The first spot and the second spot were taken by the Lexus LS and BMW 7 Series, respectively.
The vehicles that provide automatic emergency braking as standard score points with Consumer Reports. The magazine places value on the braking technology because of its potential to avoid accidents and decrease injuries. The Tesla Model S sedan lost two points in the rating, falling from a score of 87 to 85. The Model X also saw a drop in score, falling from 58 to 56. The SUV fell almost to the bottom of the luxury midsized SUV category.
Jake Fisher, director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center, said they were assured that the automatic emergency braking would be enabled by the end of 2016.
“We’ve been waiting for this important safety feature, which is standard equipment on much cheaper cars,” Fisher said.
Tesla still promising update soon: Consumer Reports
According to Consumer Reports, it got a statement from Tesla, saying that AEB and other safety features are their top priority, and they plan to introduce them as soon as they are ready. The automaker said that it believes it would be “morally wrong and counterproductive to our goal of improving consumer safety to release features before they’re ready, and we believe our customers appreciate that.”
Tesla continues to say that it is working through software updates, but the owners of its electric cars are still driving without the promised features for as long as six months. The electric car maker told Consumer Reports that it had planned to offer a software update on Thursday. According to Consumer Reports, however, it received four software updates for the Model S, but none was related to AEB.
The previous Model X and Model S came with functioning automatic emergency braking as standard. But the cars produced between late October 2016 and now do not have that safety feature, notes Consumer Reports. The mentioned software update will enable the safety feature on both the Model X and Model S electric cars built since October 2016.
Consumer Reports, however, did say that it would re-evaluate the ratings once Tesla rolls out the AEB feature to all owners and begins selling new cars with the safety feature activated. Several car makers, including Toyota, have agreed to introduce the standard automatic emergency braking on most of their vehicles over the next four years, notes CNBC.