New Research Proves Tesla Model 3 Brakes Not Yet Best-In-Class


We have a third source confirming that Tesla has improved Model 3 braking distance, however, it’s not yet “Better Than Any Remotely Comparable Car.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said essentially said that the automaker will work on the Model 3 brakes until they can outperform the competition. The recent over-the-air update made a significant difference, as we recently shared via Edmund’s track test. We already knew that progress was made since Consumer Reports changed the car’s status to Recommended.

Now, AMCI testing has performed in-depth testing to secure another opinion and to determine if the braking system qualifies as “best-in-class.”

Video Description via AMCI Testing – Unbiased Research. Certified Proof. on YouTube:

BREAKING: AMCI Testing Announces Findings On Tesla Model 3 Braking, Musk’s ‘Better Than Any Remotely Comparable Car’ Performance Goal

In-depth testing included various charge states, speeds—
and multiple surfaces. This behind-the-scenes video explains our rigorous, world-class methodology, and the science/engineering required to produce truly unbiased vehicle testing.

OCEANSIDE, Calif., June 14, 2018—AMCI Testing just concluded the most detailed performance validation program to date on Tesla Model 3’s braking performance. Their testing followed numerous media-outlet reports of inconsistent and lackluster stopping performance in emergency scenarios—and Tesla’s response with over-the-air software update 2018.18.13 designed to address the deficiencies. Additionally, AMCI Testing’s program directly addressed Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter assertion that “Tesla won’t stop until Model 3 has better braking than any remotely comparable car” by comparing it to a brand new 2018 Toyota Camry XSE V6.

Both vehicles underwent AMCI Testing’s stringent brake-bedding procedure before brake testing began. Testing was conducted on both asphalt and concrete, at 60 and 70 MPH, and measurements were made with both GPS-based and ultra-accurate optical sensor based equipment. Brake-pad wear was also measured before and after testing to look for potential weaknesses.

“Braking performance has many variables, and all of those have to be carefully controlled,” said George Doganis, manager of testing operations at AMCI Testing. “Very important is a strict protocol for brake burnishing that ensures the brakes on each vehicle have been identically bedded. Braking has to take place over the same piece of track, and the vehicles have to be staggered. Controlled brake cooling has to be incorporated, and the team needs to keep track of how the surface may be changing and influencing results. And of course technique is critical; we start at the speed of the test—not braking through that speed as many do—and trigger the braking event so that the system’s response time to the driver’s input is included in the final result.”


Summarizing, Guy Mangiamele, director of AMCI Testing said, “This has been a fascinating look into the future of the industry, Tesla’s capabilities as a manufacturer, and one of the most-talked-about products in recent years. On the one hand, Tesla has not yet met its stated goal—to lead in comparable-vehicle braking performance. The 2018 Camry XSE V6 ($36,619 MSRP with destination) which we procured new from a local dealership did stop shorter—if by a fairly insignificant margin—than the Tesla Model 3 ($60,500 MSRP with destination) after its software update. So there is still work to be done there.”

But Mangiamele continued, “To the positive, Tesla has proven extremely responsive on this issue and our testing showed very little stop-to-stop performance variation—with excellent pedal feel that our test drivers felt was sports-car-like in segment. That Tesla engineers were able to accomplish this fix through software alone, and over such an abbreviated timeframe, says something about the company specifically, and about the future of automotive in general.”

A breakdown of all the performance tests and conclusions, including:

• Braking results on various surfaces
• Braking results from various speeds
• Braking results at various states of charge
• Brake pad wear throughout the test

About AMCI Testing //
AMCI Testing has been testing vehicles as an independent third party for 35 years, and is best known for its AMCI Testing Certification of competitive automotive claims. Based in Southern California, they test approximately 150 vehicles/year around the world, and their evaluations cover hundreds of areas—from performance to comfort, build quality to technology. AMCI Testing Certified Claims have served to unfailingly substantiate more than 900 competitive claims in marketing and advertising, based on the strength of their protocols and the integrity of their operations. Due to the sophistication of its testing methodologies and the depth of data it collects, no AMCI Testing Certified claim has ever been successfully challenged by a named competitor.

Hat tip to FFBJ!

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27 Comments on "New Research Proves Tesla Model 3 Brakes Not Yet Best-In-Class"

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I just hope this software optimisation doesn’t lead to a scenario in which brakes are only optimised to score as high as possible on standard brake tests.

What are you babbling about? You score highest on a brake test by having the shortest distance.

People testing diesel car emissions thought their job was equally easy. I really don’t think Tesla is doing anything fishy here, but eject does make a good point.

They’re Good Enough for Me !

We have no idea what standards you go by.

Like Ricky Bobby said…. “If you ain’t first, you’re last”

Elon Musk could have said “we will improve the Model 3 brakes” and today we would have a case closed. But he said, “the Model 3 will brake better than other in its class”, and now we have another controversy with Tesla.


Bingo! Musk seriously needs to find a better balance between prudence and bravado. He overplays his hand and/or overpromises far too often.

Especially since braking like a Camry really isn‘t super impressive.

If it only got bested by a top end Alfa Giulia, or a BMW M3, then I‘d understand it. But even the 35k 320i, which is an almost 7 year to old car, is still quite a bit better.

So I hope they keep those updates coming, there is still room for improvement.

Stopping distance is actually a function of tire grip and ABS (except multiple repeated hard stops).

Any modern disc brake provides enough decel to ride the tire traction limit.

Bingo. Software can’t improve braking distance unless there was a fault to begin with (which there was). The idea that future software will reduce braking distance in the model 3 is impossible. Perhaps they will upgrade tires or reduce weight in future iterations of the Model 3 which will improve braking, but there’s nothing else they can do.

Somebody needs to switch Kool Aid dealer if “2018 Camry XSE V6”, heaviest trim of large family sedan at half the price, is “comparable car”. Comparable may be BMW M3 for similar price.

Camry is mid-sized just like how EPA classifies the Model 3. Very telling that a cheaper, ICE vehicle, and non-luxury vehicle to boot, can brake in shorter distances than the Model 3 when it’s touted as “better than any in class”!

If the non-Performance RWD is comparable to the BMW M3, then what is the Performance AWD Model 3 comparable to?

The outgoing BMW M3 is 99′, and the Cadillac ATS-V is 97′ Tesla has lots of work to do on the Model 3P…

We don’t “have another controversy.” This is irrelevant to Tesla’s #1 sales position in the small premium car market.

I’d still buy the M3 BUT I’ll wait because I expect a lot of refinement in all aspects of the car once production challenges are put to rest. I’m giving it a couple of years.

Over the air updates are one of Tesla’s biggest upsides IMO, especially since their cars resemble electronic appliances in more ways than the average car. However, braking distance is a function of hardware and software. Sure, you can update the software to improve braking, but is the matching hardware up to the task? We can’t ignore that EM is a reactionist, I just hope that overdriving motor braking doesn’t lead to shorter life of other components like motors or controllers, since that hardware was likely specified for lighter duties (ie, longer braking distance).

All that to say, over the air updates are great, but you can’t over the air update your hardware if you later find out it isn’t good enough.

It’s not over the air, but I’d say Tesla’s mobile service team is the next best thing. They can come in, swap the part out in your car, and be gone in under an hour. Only way you’d know is because they called to verify that now was a good time (and maybe you take your car out of the garage or open a gate or something so they could access your car.)

Ya need a mediocre performance sedan so it doesn’t complete with the HP version. Having a Camery beat you is pretty lame though.

Should have compared to a Camry Hybrid. Many complaints from Camry Hybrid owners about the ‘grabby’ brakes. M3 would have blown this test away.

Give me a break, what is needed is simply another OTA-Update.

Exactly. Tesla will keep working on it and apply new updates once they have better data.

It’s a shame to see such a data focused testing company present such unclear results. Are their charts the average, median or best braking result of each test? How many tests are part of each sample? What is a statistically significant difference in braking distance? I guess it doesn’t matter much to the general public, but people who know about such things DO care. It might be that the Camry and the M3 have the same actual braking performance and their tests are showing only insignificant differences.

Nobody buys a Tesla because of the brakes.

They buy it because it’s battery-electric car.

Edmunds’ babbling nonsense won’t affect sales ONE BIT.

I agree Stephen if you say “Enough Babbling about the brakes.”

Now that this is addressed to everyone’s satisfaction, maybe they can work on the suspension such that ” Is including, but not limited to: Driving on broken pavement, or uneven roads….” doesn’t void the new car warranty.

Left out of this discussion is the difference in vehicle weight. The model 3 is 266 lbs heavier (3838 lbs vs 3572 lbs). This has to effect braking distance. They should have added an additional 266 lbs inside the Camery to see if it still had the same performance.