Consumer Reports (CR) has taken the Tesla Model S from the top spot in its ultra luxury car category over a missing safety feature, and the brand is responding.
The issue is over emergency automatic braking (AEB), which was standard on all Tesla models up until October of 2016, when it disappeared as a feature on new Model S and Model X vehicles. Because AEB adds points to a vehicle’s overall CR score, both the Model S and Model X have lost points.
Responding to the lower rating, Tesla has already started an over-the-air update to reinstate the feature in the affected vehicles, but it’s too late to change the rating, for now at least.
CR has dropped the Model S sedan’s score to 85 from 87, dropping it from the top of the ultra-luxury list into third place behind the BMW 7 Series and Lexus LS. The Tesla Model X also receives a hit, dropping from 58 to 56, putting it near the bottom of the midsized luxury SUV segment.
“Automatic Emergency Braking and other safety features are a top priority, and we plan to introduce them as soon as they’re ready,” Tesla said in the statement. “We believe 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.”
CR says that once the feature is added back to the car, the outlet will reconsider its ratings. Tesla also declined to answer a question about potential compensation for those who owners who have been without AEB for up to six months.
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