Tesla wins back top consumer rating for Model S

Tesla is back in the good graces of a leading automotive voice, Consumer Reports.

The consumer magazine rated the Model S its top luxury sedan after the electric vehicle maker enhanced its software this month, adding safety features including automatic emergency braking at highway speed.

Although the Model S picked up points for the new software, its SUV sibling, the Model X, improved but still lingered at the bottom of Consumer Report’s luxury SUV ratings.

The magazine lowered scores for the two vehicles in April, because the cars did not have emergency braking enabled. Tesla has been re-engineering its Autopilot driver-assist package, seeking to make it safer after a fatal crash in Florida involving the system.

Federal regulators found no defects in Autopilot after a six-month investigation into the May 2016 crash in Florida, which killed a Model S owner.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk touts the vehicles as the safest on the road, drawing top marks from government crash testers.

But the Model S this month failed to receive top safety grades from an insurance safety group. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found the high-end sedan, which starts at about $70,000, not as safe as comparable cars in certain, front-end crashes.

Tesla deliveries of the Model S and X dipped in the second quarter, a drop the company attributed to production shortfalls with its 100 kilowatt hour battery packs.

The Palo Alto-based firm this week will deliver its first Model 3 sedan, its less expensive electric vehicle for a broad audience. The vehicle will also be equipped with hardware and software to enable Autopilot, and also designed to receive top federal safety ratings.

Photo: Tesla Model S P90D on display at the Tesla store in the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif., on Nov. 6, 2015. (LiPo Ching/Bay Area News Group)

Have a story to tell about your Model 3 reservation? Getting ready for the Tesla delivery event on Friday? Contact Louis Hansen at lhansen@bayareanewsgroup.com.


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