August 08, 2007

Chery's Autos "Crumple Like Newspaper"

The Chinese Automotive manufacturer Chery had one of their vehicles, the Chery Amulet, crash tested by a Russian Car magazine.

The results?

The magazine said the vehicle "crumpled like a newspaper"

In one of the few crash-tests to date of a Chinese-made vehicle outside China, a Chery Amulet sedan's front end folded like a concertina in a recent trial here.

The Russian car magazine that organized the test said it was one of the worst performances ever and called upon Chery Automobile Co. to withdraw the car from the market. A clip of the crash test posted on Google Inc.'s video-sharing service YouTube has drawn almost 163,000 viewers.

Of course the Chinese are saying the test was biased even thought Chery officals were present at the crash and said nothing at the time.

The lab, Russia's biggest and a tester for a wide variety of vehicles, says the presence of auto magazine AvtoRevu was "a guarantor" of the test's independence. The magazine, which paid the lab to conduct the test of the Amulet, rejected any claim of bias; it said the test was "200% independent," and says it has no affiliation with any manufacturer.

Among Russia's most respected car magazines, AvtoRevu has conducted 39 crash tests in its 17-year history, many of locally made cars not tested by governments elsewhere. One of the worst performances -- a score of 0 out of 16 -- was recorded by an Avtovaz model in 2001. At times, the magazine has been scathing about the safety record of some homegrown models, and it has also given top marks to some foreign models that compete with Russian ones, including cars from the U.S., Italy, France and South Korea.

The Amulet was subjected to a test that AvtoRevu calls Europe's benchmark, the EuroNCAP. On impact with a metal crash barrier at 64 kilometers (nearly 40 miles) per hour, the Amulet's front door sills "crumpled like newspaper," AvtoRevu said in its June issue. The magazine said the test dummy became so entwined with the wreckage of the car that it had to be removed piece by piece. Out of a possible 16 points, the Amulet got just 1.7.

They can't be all that biased if they criticize their own country's vehicles more than competitors.

But of course the Chinese had to re-test the vehicles in their OWN labs to prove it untrue and of course they passed, no shock there.

A month after the Russian test, Chery had the Amulet tested in China, hiring the commercial arm of the U.K. government's Vehicle Certification Agency to conduct the trial in its lab in Shanghai. The conditions were less demanding: the car's speed was 56 kilometers an hour; the impact was full-frontal rather than the more difficult angle the Russian lab used; there was an airbag, unlike the model in Russia; and the crash barrier was less rigid than in the previous test.

The U.K. agency said the Amulet met European safety standards in this test. But a spokesman for the agency later stressed that the result applies only to the single car on that one day and didn't amount to an endorsement of the entire line.

Yes, the vehicle did pass but they did a completely different test. And who knows how that vehicle was built, could have built it to withstand the tests. It doesn't say who or how the vehicle was chosen.

Folks, this is the same Chinese auto maker that is in partnership with Chrysler to bring their very small (unsafe), cheap vehicles to the U.S. in a couple years.

Cerberus-owned Chrysler last month finalized a deal making Chery its partner to develop a range of small cars for sale in the U.S., and has vowed to work with the Chinese to improve vehicle safety. The Amulet, one of the oldest models in Chery's young lineup, isn't slated for sale in the U.S.

Steven Landry, executive vice president of marketing and sales at Chrysler, said he realizes customers have concerns about Chinese-made products and that is why Chrysler will have a lot of its staff involved in the development of the Chery-made vehicles at an early stage to ensure quality and safety. Frank Klegon, Chrysler's executive vice president of product development, said Chrysler officials will help choose suppliers that have a demonstrated track record. "It's Chrysler's reputation at the end of the day," Mr. Klegon said.

And we already know how the Chinese change materials to make a better product after their American buyers are not watching anymore.

In the past, Chinese auto-industry officials have acknowledged that their vehicles aren't up to Western safety standards, which other tests have borne out. (emphasis mine)

Anyone remember the Brillance B6?

When are we going to learn not to trust anything the Chinese say? How many people are going to need to die before we learn?

Posted by Quality Weenie at August 8, 2007 08:27 AM | TrackBack

I thought I heard about Chinese cars a while back - how dangerous they are. I can't remember where, but I know I read about it. This must be yet another test showing yet again that the cars are deadly little traps. Sheesh!

Posted by: Teresa at August 8, 2007 05:15 PM

With those cars you're just praying "Russian Rourette".


Sorry. That was uncarred for.

Posted by: jimmyb at August 8, 2007 09:23 PM

I'm glad you saw my comment about Chrysler at my blog.
Yes, I'm still where I am.

You should plan on coming to next year's OgFest - I'll pick you up.

Posted by: _Jon at August 10, 2007 01:57 PM

Off-topic, I think you forgot to close a [bold] tag.

Posted by: Harvey at August 10, 2007 08:09 PM