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Tesla will update its Summon feature after safety issues were raised

Consumer Reports pointed out an "avoidable safety concern" with the automaker's self-parking feature, and the company listened.


Tesla's always been quick at updating its vehicles' software, and with over-the-air refreshes, it can beam updates to the whole electric fleet at the same time. That will come in handy when Tesla issues an update to its popular new Summon feature, thanks in part to Consumer Reports.

Summon allows you to park and retrieve your Model S or Model X electric vehicle from your garage without being in the vehicle. It will open and close your garage door while creeping in or out, at a speed very close to a tremendously slow crawl, all while using your key fob from a small distance away.

Consumer Reports pointed out that requiring a button press to stop the Summon feature could be a concern, as a butterfingered owner might miss the key press at a crucial time. It suggested to Tesla that the switch instead function in the "dead man's" style, where the button must be held for the entire Summon process, and any button-lifting will cease vehicle movement immediately.

Tesla acknowledged the issue and said its engineers have devised a fix. "As a beta feature, we continue to test Summon and collect feedback from real-world user experience," the company said in a statement. "Consumer Reports surfaced valid concerns that we've already built fixes for, continuing to make Summon and our vehicles better." Just like elementary-school white glue, a little bit of added safety goes a long way.