Tesla Model S climbs back to top of Consumer Reports safety ratings


2017 Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

The Tesla Model S has retaken its spot as the luxury sedan that gets the highest ratings from Consumer Reports after the electric car gained back automatic emergency braking that works at all legal road speeds.

Some may remember Tesla restored the automatic braking during an update to vehicles earlier this year, but the system only worked at speeds up to 28 mph.

Now, Tesla has restored the system's full-speed capabilities and the Model S sedans are capable of braking at highway speeds up to 90 mph.

DON'T MISS: Consumer Reports restores some points to Tesla electric cars for automatic braking

Consumer Reports had downgraded both the Tesla Model S and Model X in April of this year after Tesla's decision to pull AEB as a standard feature was met with scrutiny.

The hardware remained onboard, but the feature was removed from cars built after October 2016 due to their new suite of sensor hardware.

The disappearance was due to Tesla's switch from supplier technology to an in-house solution; the electric car maker had promised the feature would return by the end of 2016.

2017 Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

The end of the year came and went without updates to the emergency-braking system or a specific timetable from Tesla—and CR notified the automaker it planned to lower its vehicles' ratings on April 21, 2017.

Five days later, Tesla Model S sedans received an update that included the 28 mph-limited version of the system.

Consumer Reports restored some points to the Model S and Model X following the safety update, but the Lexus LS had remained the consumer guide's top luxury sedan—until now.

READ THIS: Is the latest Tesla Autopilot 'smooth as silk' as Musk claims? Video shows results

Tesla may be celebrating the Model S's return to the top, but the Model X utility vehicle remains near the bottom of its segment.

It did regain a few points with the full-range automatic emergency braking restored.

Last month, Tesla also rolled out its latest Autopilot update, which was deemed "smooth as silk" by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

2017 Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

The update includes significant tweaks to the AutoPilot system's sensors to curb "dancing" between lane markers—but owner video showed it remains a problem when the markings suddenly disappeared.

The latest Autopilot system, meanwhile, also ushers in the ability for the electric car to park in perpendicular spaces.

CHECK OUT: Tesla gets new Autopilot head after just five months

Tesla brought in its latest Autopilot head after ex-chief, Chris Lattner, decided the position wasn't a good fit for him after only five months on the job.

Stanford University professor Andrej Karpathy will lead all Autopilot-related development as of June.

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