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The Week in Tesla News: 2019 Delivery Goal Met, Model 3 Performance Boosted, Scary Dashcam Video and More

Tesla Model 3

One of the most pressing questions for Tesla as 2019 wrapped up was whether it could meet its vehicle delivery goal for the year. Breathe a sigh of relief, folks: It did. That’s not the only thing that happened for the automaker this week, as performance tests revealed that the 2019.36.2.1 firmware update really did improve the Model 3’s performance, built-in cameras were able to capture a hammer flying into a Model 3’s windshield, Fisker unveiled its Model Y competitor and another deadly crash was under investigation.

Related: Which 2019 Electric Cars Have the Greatest Range?

Delivery Numbers Delivered

 Tesla’s goal for the year was somewhere between 360,000 and 400,000 vehicles delivered, and it managed to finish 2019 with around 367,500 deliveries worldwide. The announcement sent Tesla’s stock up, though the automaker was cautious about assigning too much meaning to the accomplishment.

“Vehicle deliveries represent only one measure of the company’s financial performance and should not be relied on as an indicator of quarterly financial results, which depend on a variety of factors,” Tesla said in a statement.

Nevertheless, this is more good news for Tesla, coming on the heels of its Shanghai factory getting up and running.

More Power to Ya, Model 3

Before Car and Driver’s Tesla Model 3 was rendered undrivable, the magazine had updated the car to the 2019.36.2.1 firmware version, which Tesla had promised would increase power by 5%.

After installing the update, C&D took the Model 3 to test the update and found that it indeed increased power by the promised percentage. The Model 3 bested its previously recorded performance numbers in every test, from 0-60 mph to quarter-mile testing and more.

If I Had a Hammer

One other part of the holiday software update available to Teslas was the ability to save dashcam footage by honking the horn. That, in turn, led to this terrifying video in which a Model 3 owner captures the moment a hammer on the road is knocked up into the air by another vehicle and then flies right into the Model 3’s windshield. No one was hurt, fortunately, and now the owner has a very handy bit of evidence to give to his or her insurance company.

Another Fatal Crash

The same day that a fatal crash involving a Model 3 took place in Indiana, another fatal crash involving a Tesla took place in California. In this incident, a Model S apparently exited from the highway at high speed and ran a red light, colliding with a Honda Civic and killing two passengers inside the Honda.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s special crash investigation unit will be looking into the crash. It’s not yet known if the semi-self-driving Autopilot feature was engaged during this crash.

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Model Y Competition?

Fisker Inc. just unveiled its Ocean all-electric SUV at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The compact SUV boasts a claimed range of at least 250 miles, and makes heavy use of recycled and environmentally friendly materials in its construction. Fisker also claims the Ocean will have a starting MSRP under $38,000 before any incentives — which should include the federal electric-vehicle tax credit that will potentially no longer apply to the Tesla Model Y when it goes on sale.

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