Are brakes that respond in a timely manner really too much to ask for when you're spending tens of thousands of dollars on a car?
Musk has essentially refuted the review by Consumer Reports and claims that older versions of the Model 3 were used during testing. Musk says that in newer models, the problems called out by reviewers have already been rectified. The Tesla CEO has said that the slow braking issue is "very strange" and was caused by an ABS calibration algorithm. In a statement, Musk said that the issues experienced by Consumer Reports were "inconsistent" with other assessments, but that it may indicate some vehicles are experiencing a longer braking distance than normal. He added that Tesla would fix the issue at its own expense.
On Twitter, Musk wrote, "With further refinement, we can improve braking distance beyond initial specs. Tesla won’t stop until Model 3 has better braking than any remotely comparable car.
"Also Consumer Reports has an early production car. Model 3 now has improved ride comfort, lower wind noise & many other small improvements. Will request that they test current production," he added.
But brakes aren't the only issue the Model 3 has had so far. When the vehicle was set to make its debut, future buyers were able to "reserve" theirs for just $1,000. Hundreds of thousands of people put deposits down in 2016. And as Wired reported in 2017, "Tesla holds $616 million in customer deposits. Most of that money comes from Model 3 reservation holders."
Most of these reservation holders reportedly wouldn't see a car in their driveway until sometime in 2018 -- leaving plenty of time for people to cancel and seek a refund. While Tesla claimed refunds would be received within three weeks of their initial request, Shashank Chitti and other reservation holders quickly found out that was not really the case. Chitti told Wired in 2017 that even after two months of waiting, the refund still hadn't gone through.
"Every time I reach out I get the same explanation: They have a lot of cancellations to process, they'll prioritize my request, and that my refund should go out in the next batch," he said. Chitti wasn't alone; many deposit holders publicly complained about slow response time via Twitter.
It's not just Model 3 cars that are causing problems for consumers and reviewers. It was recently revealed that multiple car crashes involving Tesla vehicles end in explosions or fires. Experts say that the lithium-ion batteries used in Tesla cars make them a serious hazard during collisions due to what's known as "thermal runaway."
In Switzerland, one violent crash left the vehicle's driver trapped inside as the car went up in flames. Bellinzona police said that as the batteries collide with other solid materials during high-speed impacts, there is a "rapid and unstoppable increase in temperature," setting the stage for fiery explosions. The use of very large, potentially volatile lithium-ion batteries in vehicles is beginning to look questionable.
Between the explosive crashes and bad reviews, some are beginning to wonder if Tesla will take a financial hit. Experts say enthusiasts will remain, but that more casual buyers will have more doubts. Tesla has already been struggling with their stock, so who knows what will happen next.
Either way, it's hard not to wonder if Tesla cars are just a scam. Elon Musk has been called out for swindling taxpayers into funding his various ventures via subsidies -- what else is he doing to scam the public? Keep up with the latest tech controversies at Glitch.news.
Sources for this article include: