Consumer Reports takes away Tesla Model 3 ‘Top Pick’ recommendation

This is all because new Model 3 and Model Y cars are no longer using radar

Consumer Reports has stripped the Tesla Model 3 of its ‘Top Pick’ status over safety concerns. That being said, the popular magazine may have jumped the gun.

The title was taken from the car after Tesla announced that it’s removed the radar sensor from new Model 3 and Model Y cars and had to temporarily suspend some features because of it. Beyond just losing the ‘Top Pick’ designation, the Model 3 also had three points docked from its full Consumer Reports score.

The reason that the publication is being so hard on the Model 3 is because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the U.S. removes listing for certain safety information until it can independently test it. Since Tesla changed how its safety features work on some cars, it lost those safety ratings for the time being. Consumer Reports then saw this and docked the Model 3’s score.

That being said, Electrek is reporting that the Tesla cars that are making the switch from Radar to camera-based self-driving still have the safety features Consumer Reports says are gone. Electrek even got confirmation from Elon Musk and some Tesla owners, which say the features are still in the cars.

If you’re confused about why all this is happening, we need to take a step back to Tesla’s announcement from May 25th. It said that it’s transitioning new Model Y and Model 3 cars from a radar/camera-vision system to an exclusively camera-based system. The new Model Y and Model 3 cars included in this update are vehicles that were shipped in May 2021 and newer.

The only limitations that Tesla announced are limitations to Autosteer, Smart Summon and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance. These features are all planned to be re-added to the cars over the coming weeks.

  • Smart Summon allows drivers to call their car to them in a parking lot.
  • Autosteer allows the car to change lanes automatically if you’re using Autopilot and you push the stalk twice.
  • Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance is another Autopilot feature that will bring the car back into its lane if it detects that it’s drifting towards a collision.

Musk plans to drop Radar from the Model X and Model S at some point as well.

The final update worth mentioning is that  Tesla has finally enabled the camera above the rear-view mirror to watch drivers and alert them when they’re not paying attention to the road while Autopilot is engaged.

Overall, this all seems like some kind of big misunderstanding. Therefore, if you have a Tesla Model 3 or a Model Y, you likely don’t have to worry about your car losing some safety features. That being said, if you recently got your hands on a Model 3, you might not be able to rely on the emergency lane departure avoidance feature for the time being.

Source: BNN Bloomberg, Electrek