Consumer Reports has announced that the Tesla Model S has returned to its perch as the publication’s top rated ultra-luxury sedan. The change happened when Tesla updated the software in the Model S to include automatic emergency braking at highway speeds.
At the end of April, Consumer Reports lowered the test scores of the Model S and Model X, since the AEB system wasn’t enabled. The models both had the necessary hardware, since Tesla had been including it on vehicles produced after October 2016, but the system wasn’t part of the “standard” package. Tesla acted quickly and performed an over-the-air update.
The over-the-air update increased the highest speed that the automatic emergency braking system works, from 28 mph to 90 mph. To test the updated Model S, Consumer Reports tested the Model S on a test track at higher speeds by driving it at a target that is supposed to look like the back of a car.
While the Tesla Model S has returned to its top spot, the Model X still resides near the bottom of its category.
“Automakers should never treat safety as a luxury item,” says William Wallace, a policy analyst for Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports. “Proven, life-saving safety features should be in every new car sold, and automakers certainly should not wait until 2022 to make automatic emergency braking standard.”