UPDATED: Consumer Reports Restores Some Points To Tesla Ratings After Return Of Automatic Braking

UPDATE: Now that Tesla has remotely activated the automatic emergency braking feature on newer Model S and X vehicles, Consumer Reports has restored some of the points it had taken away after the disappearance of AEB. However, the two Tesla models are not getting all the points back since this AEB currently only works at speeds of up to 28 mph, a significantly lower limit than what Tesla had previously offered. For instance, the AEB in earlier iterations of the Model S functioned at speeds of up to 90 mph.

After our colleagues at Consumer Reports downgraded its ratings for both the Tesla Model S and Model X for no longer including automatic emergency braking (AEB) on new vehicles, the electric carmaker has announced that it is rolling out a software update that Tesla says will activate this safety feature.

Until last fall, AEB — which will try to stop a vehicle when it detects that the driver is not reacting to an imminent collision — had been standard on all Model S and Model X Teslas. Then, in Oct. 2016, when the company introduced a hardware change that it said would eventually allow these cars to be self-driving, the AEB was no longer activated on newly produced cars.

The Tesla vehicles purchased and originally rated by Consumer Reports included the braking system, and that added safety feature helped to boost the scores for each model. In fact, the Model S had been the top-rated ultaluxury vehicle rated by CR. However, since the newer versions of these Teslas did not have AEB activated, CR had to take off some points.

“When we purchased our latest test car, we were assured automatic emergency braking would be enabled by the end of 2016,” explains Jake Fisher, director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center. “We’ve been waiting for this important safety feature, which is standard equipment on much cheaper cars.”

With its lowered score, the Model S is now only the third-highest vehicle in its category. The drop in points also looks bad for the Model X, which was already near the back of the pack for CR’s ratings of luxury mid-sized SUVs.

When CR notified Tesla about the impending ratings change, it says the carmaker responded by pledging to push out the AEB update later this week. In a statement to Bloomberg this morning, Tesla says the update will begin rolling out today.

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