Recent news reports tell us that the Tesla Model 3 performed abysmally in braking and sub-sub-par for handling.
Specifically, the test results were very much "an anomaly". The first full-power braking test was within the cloud of data of competing vehicles. The next twenty tests were way out in the weeds.
Elon Musk distracted critics by pointing out that Tesla has the "...ability to deploy software updates to its vehicles over the air."
Let's look at Mr Musk's statement for a second.
Your Tesla vehicle can be hacked. Suppose an engineer had the foresight to leave a back-door. Further, suppose Mr Musk made a marketing decision to go to market before the engineer signed off that the system was ready. Do you suppose that could have happened?
Suppose the rungs of the ladder logic only apply when the vehicle's GPS confirms that the vehicle is within a GEO fence that contains the Consumers Reports test facility in East Haddom. Further, suppose the ladder logic is triggered by a max braking event from 60mph +/- 5mph. And further suppose that the degraded response will only be applied to those max braking events that occur within ten minutes of the previous max braking event.
Viola!!! The Tesla Model 3 would shit-the-bed for the Consumers Reports testing without endangering anybodies' lives.
Too far fetched? One US automobile company was caught with two sets of calibrations. One set ran when the hood was up (and the hood light was on) which is how the Feds ran the emissions testing. More recently a European company was caught with two sets of calibrations, one which was activated when the Power/Time trace tracked the emissions testing protocol and another...much more power and better fuel economy...when the Power/Time trace significantly deviated from the emissions testing protocols.
THAT IS THE BEST CASE SCENARIO
And even if that is what happened, a disgruntled employee, consider the fact that a malicious person could "...deploy software updates..." to screw with anybody's or everybody's vehicle.
The malevolent code could be slaved to a particular cell phone or WIFI device. The vehicles would lurk until the target carrying that device entered the vehicle. As soon as it shook hands with the vehicle's computer the vehicle would launch into max acceleration and cancel all braking. Heck, it is software. A programmer could make it do anything.
Musk touts "...deploy software updates..." as an advantage. Me, I am not so sure.