SAN FRANCISCO -- Tesla Inc. has earned back half the points it lost in Consumer Reports' vehicle rankings after deploying automatic emergency braking to its recently built electric vehicles.
The carmaker, whose newer models were originally released without functioning automatic emergency-braking systems, has clawed back one point on both the Model S and Model X after losing two each in April. The scores, based on a 100-point scale, could rise further if the updated braking system becomes operational at highway speeds like in earlier models, Consumer Reports said.
"It's uncommon for a newer vehicle to be less capable than an older vehicle, especially when it comes to safety," Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports, said in a phone interview.
The changing scores show the challenges that Tesla, which rolls out features to consumers via over-the-air software updates, can face when there isn't parity among its vehicles. The cheapest Tesla now retails for about $70,000, so consumers looking for all the bells and whistles don't want to wait for a feature that was supposed to be available by the end of 2016.