The folks over at Consumer Reports recently got their hands on a Tesla Model 3 and conducted a full instrumented test of the car – but the results were a bit underwhelming.

In its review, CR said they were impressed by the Model 3’s “record-setting range” and “exhilarating acceleration and handling” but also pointed out “big flaws” with the electric compact. These flaws included a long stopping distance of 152 feet from 60 mph, which was worse than any other comparable car CR has tested and 7 feet longer than a Ford F-150.

The 60-0 mph emergency braking test CR performed is an industry standard procedure developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers. CR said it conducted the test multiple times, each time allowing the brakes to properly cool off before testing it again, and it also ensured the brakes and tires were not overly worn or compromised in any way.

In response to CR’s findings, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the problem was related to software and could be fixed with a firmware update. This revelation came just hours after CR’s findings were published, and Musk said that the update should be ready for rollout in a “few days.” He later added that CR had an “early production run car” and that other Model 3s have “improved ride comfort, lower wind noise & many other small improvements.”

Musk also said that even if a physical upgrade to the Model 3’s brakes is required, Tesla will “make sure all Model 3’s having amazing braking ability at no expense to customers.” It’s yet not clear if this means the Model 3 will be recalled to improve its braking performance.

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Interestingly, the Model 3 appears to show great variance in its braking performance. CR’s first brake test resulted in a 60-0 mph braking distance of 130 feet – on par with Tesla’s own claims for the car. It was unable to replicate this performance later on, however. Car and Driver also reported a “bizarre amount of variation” over its six 70-0 mph braking tests with the Model 3, with the worst of them coming in at 196 feet.

We’ll update readers when Tesla rolls out its braking software update for the Model 3 this week.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

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