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Consumer Reports finds Tesla's Smart Summon 'glitchy'

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Roberto Baldwin/Engadget

Consumer Reports and Tesla have had a rocky relationship over the years, and it doesn't look like they're about to patch things up any time soon. CR has declared Tesla's Smart Summon feature "glitchy" after several days of testing both at its own facility and in parking lots. The drive-to-you feature only works "intermittently," the publication said, sometimes confusing a parking lot for a public road and shutting off. And while Smart Summon appears to drive the car at cautious speeds, it also wanders "like a drunken or distracted driver" and sometimes veers into the opposite lane.

The publication's Ethan Douglas went so far as to accuse Tesla of "beta-testing its cars on the general public," and pointed out the multiple incidents where owners' Smart Summon use led to minor collisions. It also noted that the NHTSA was looking into the feature for potential problems.

We've asked Tesla for comment, although CR didn't get answers after "repeatedly" inquiring with the automaker.

We wouldn't count on a warm response. Tesla has disputed CR's conclusions more than once, accusing it of using flawed methodology or ignoring subsequent fixes in later production lines and software updates. However, it's safe to say that Smart Summon's introduction hasn't gone as smoothly as Tesla might like, even if it's poised to improve over time.