Li Auto’s L9 Test Car Suspected of Air Suspension Breakage

The latest flagship L9 SUV from Chinese new energy vehicle firm Li Auto has not yet been delivered, but its test cars have apparently been exposed to hardware problems, triggering hot debate among web users and questions from industry insiders. On July 17, according to CNR, there was a suspension problem with a Li Auto L9 test car, in which the front left wheel fell into the vehicle body and could not run normally. It was suspected that the air suspension of the vehicle had failed.

According to a screenshot of online chat records, the Li Auto L9 broke its front suspension with a bang after suddenly braking. Li Auto‘s staff responded: “This failure is a case of parts of non-production models. The reason has been discovered and this problem will be solved on the final mass-produced car.”

A reporter from The Paper consulted the staff of one of its stores, and the other party replied: “The test car in Chongqing rushed through a pit with a depth of 20cm at a speed of 90 km/h, causing the breakage of the buffer ring inside the air spring. Because of the supply problem, some of our test cars use buffer rings in the trial production stage. Although the trial version meets the safety standards, it will fail occasionally when encountering large impact conditions. The strength of the buffer ring in the actual production version is 2.5 times that of the trial version, and there will be no problem in the face of greater impacts.”

Li L9 (Source: Li Auto)

However, some within the industry have questioned the response of Li Auto. Hu Zhengnan, the former president of Geely Research Institute, said on a personal social media account that “90 km/h over a 20cm pit” is not in line with the actual situation. The ground clearance of general vehicles is not 20cm. And normal people will not travel at high speed against a 20cm pit. And if this is the case, then I can only say that its tires are great. In this case, the tires did not explode, but only exploded air suspension. That’s unbelievable.”

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In addition, Hu questioned the response of Li Auto PR, claiming that “the test car uses trial parts, and the strength of mass production parts is 2.5 times that of it.” He believes that a car has to go through various stages from a sample car to a mass-produced car, such as TT, PP, VP and MP, and each stage of the car has corresponding use scenarios.

Li Auto‘s L9 is the second model to be put on the market by the firm, after its official launch on June 21, with a price of 459,800 yuan ($68,092). At present, the vehicle is accepting reservations, and the delivery of user vehicles has not yet been completed.