Edmunds Tests Tesla Model 3 OTA Braking Update


Time to take the Tesla Model 3 back to the track to see if the new over-the-air braking update reduces the stopping distance.

We previously shared Edmunds’ track test of the Tesla Model 3. During that run, the publication measured a 133-foot stopping distance in its Model 3 with the standard 18-inch tires (which is the same number Tesla achieved). Dan Edmunds explains that while that wasn’t fantastic, it was in the ballpark. Despite Edmunds’ test, others, including Consumer Reports, measured much longer stopping distances.

When Consumer Reports chose to not recommend the Model 3, Tesla jumped into action with an over-the-air update in an attempt to fix the issue. Tesla CEO Elon Musk explained that the issue was attributed to an ABS calibration algorithm, and when fixed, it should improve braking by “~20 feet for repeated heavy braking events.”

Musk’s Tweet was unclear since we don’t know if the update would improve that initial braking event or only subsequent events. Edmunds moved to find out, using the same car with the same configuration, tires, brakes, and pads. Two tests proved that the brakes now have much more “bite.” Edmunds’ Model 3 stopped about 10-11 feet sooner.

While this is not the ~20 feet that Musk mentioned, it’s important to remember that Edmunds’ early test was already decent at 133 feet, which is significantly better than CR’s 152-foot measurement. When CR retested the Model 3, a ~20-foot improvement was measured and the car achieved its recommended status.

Video Description via Edmunds on YouTube:

Did Tesla’s over-the-air firmware update change the braking distance of our Model 3? Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle testing for Edmunds, heads back to the track with our long-term Model 3 for a second round of brake tests following a firmware update (2018.18.13) Tesla released late in May.


The update is said to address an issue with the Model 3’s braking system after some third-party organizations reported exceptionally long stopping distances for the vehicle in testing. We changed nothing else on our car, using the same brakes, the same tires, set at the same tire pressure (45 psi), and the exact same testing protocol we always do. Here’s what we found.

Categories: Tesla, Videos

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

20 Comments on "Edmunds Tests Tesla Model 3 OTA Braking Update"

newest oldest most voted

OTA fixes, TM3 production increasing, energy storage unbelievable demand, energy storage may end up being a bigger share of revenue and profit in the future. Solar roofs being manufactured in the US and shorters have a 12.1 billion bet against Tesla succeeding. Hahaha

You missed Edmunds main point. Why was this update even necessary? A traditional OEM would have tested this car to the point the updated wouldn’t have been necessary before it shipped, especially for something as critical as brakes.

OTA fixes are great for feature updates, not for basic car functionality.

My Nissan Leaf had to be brought in numerous times for software updates, relating to braking in cold temperatures, air bag sensors, and occupant sensors. $hit happens and I wish they were all OTA so I could use my car and not deal with dealers/gas loaners.

Ain’t that The Truth!!!!!!!!!

As cars get more complicated they need software updates, my Clarity PHEV has about 10 things needing software updates, a simple bug in the range calculation is still unfixed 6 months later, and when they fix it I will have to take it to the dealer.

“You missed Edmunds main point.”

I’d say you missed the main point, which is that tests by different parties showed different stopping distances. Perhaps Tesla’s internal tests showed a shorter stopping distance than others’ tests, and Tesla thought it was adequate.

There are a lot of variables at play here, and it’s wrong to assume that everyone is going to test braking distance in exactly the same way.

theflew — So your argument is that every single car maker’s brake systems are perfect because they find all their problems in testing before shipping? Then why is the news from Ford that:

“After reports of brake failures resulting in 26 crashes and three injuries, federal regulators are intensifying an investigation into whether Ford should recall about one million sedans.”

Harley recalling a quarter of a million motorcycles for brake problems dating back to 2008.
GM, multiple recalls for brake systems impacting millions of cars.
Audi/VW/Skota over a million cars recalled for various brake problems dating back years.
Alfa, Jeep, Nissan, BMW, you name a car company, and they’ve had a brake recall of some sort or another.

Are you seriously complaining that Tesla fixed their issue without even needing a recall, faster and sooner than everybody else? As if that were BAD???

In 2016 a total of 52,985,779 vehicles were officially recalled, and virtually all of them had to be taken to a dealer. I prefer not to be taken by the dealer.

My first Ford Focus Electric had numerous issues with the software. Specifically, Focus Electrics had a tendancy to stop in the middle of traffic. Interestingly, my Fiat 500e also had software issues that caused it to shutdown unexpectedly. My favorite was on the freeway, while driving 70 in the number two lane. Oh, and by the way, these cars had to go into the dealer numerous times for these recalls because Ford and Fiat don’t do over-the-air updates.

Why wasn’t this discovered by these “traditional” automakers before they released the cars? Why wasn’t my car perfect from day one? Why are there ever recalls? Why, oh why haven’t these cars been properly tested?

I suppose the answer is that in a complicated piece of machinery, not EVERYTHING gets caught.

You mean the way GM rigorously tested its ignition switches to ensure they would be completely safe in all situations. Oh. . . wait a minute.

Tesla Gets Criticized …If GM F**ks Up it’s OK , Because it’s Expected….lol

OTA updates are Great and prove to be effective without the inconvenience of visiting the dealership . In the old days they’d be doing Costly Time Intensive repairs that are great for the Stealership’s Profits, Changing Brake Hardware Perhaps at a Much Higher Cost to Remedy the problem …….OTA are the Future Here Now! At Tesla ! ..THESE GUYS ARE CHRONIC CRY BABIES … There is no Pleasing them !

The reality is that every car maker on earth has had brake problems that have triggered recalls at some point. Put the name of any major car maker into google along with the words brake and recall and you will quickly find hundreds of thousands if not millions of cars impacted by brake problems. Stuff happens when you build cars, and it happens to all car makers, including their brake systems.

What is amazing is that Tesla was able to turn the fix to this around so quickly, fixing every single car built so far instantly. No need for recalls that can stretch out for years, and might not even get done on every car. No need to go to a dealership. Very nice.

There is no confusion here. Its pretty simple. Tesla claims 133 ft. 60-0. Edmunds car initially tested 133 ft. 60-0. Can’t expect the update to fix something that isn’t broken. Nevertheless, braking still improved by 10 feet? Good on ya, Tesla!

I mean if it takes you 10 feet to go from 60-0 while braking uphill in 3 inches of molasses from an overturned syrup truck in 200 MPH headwinds during a hurricane while towing a bulldozer on a trailer, and the next day you brake 60-0 in 133 feet on dry level pavement after an OTA update in normal conditions according to specifications, do you say the update made the brakes worse because it didn’t improve braking to 0 feet?


But why was the syrup truck carrying molasses?

Because the molasses truck was recalled for a brake issue.

Molasses truck must have been built on a Ford F-650 or F-750 chassis… *grin*



Nature of iterative agile software dev. Testers prob used earlier rev that yielded shorter stopping distance. Software dev rewrote code later to optimize for more consistent battery life. That incremental 0.1 update never went thru physical validation because soft iteration is gonna be order more frequent than hardware testing can support. IPhones or windows come out with regressive features all the time. Murphy’s law just acts far more quickly with electrons in play.

It’s a good value. Anyway, I can’t understand, how Tesla produced hundreds of cars for months with this braking issue, if it was so easy and fast to fix.