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Ideal L9 Air Suspension Breaks Before Delivery

“The best SUV within 5 million was caught in the limelight because of quality problems, and on July 17, according to the CCTV, an ideal L9 test drive had suspension problems, and the left front wheel of the vehicle was caught in the body, unable to drive normally, suspected of air suspension failure. Accompanying this fermentation was a reply from Ideal’s public relations: it was actually the test car in Chongqing that rushed through a deep pit of more than 20 cm at 90 km/h, causing the cushion ring inside the air spring to break. This claim was then countered by professionals.

Image source: from the Internet
On July 18, Ideal Auto gave what seemed like a happy solution for all: the warranty program for the air springs (including the air spring body, air pump, and gas storage tank) of the Ideal L9 was raised to the same 8 years or 160,000 kilometers as the three electric systems, and the used car trade does not affect the validity of the warranty.

Photo source: Screenshot from the official microblog of RISO Motors
For the air suspension, which only has a life of about 5 years under normal driving conditions, Ideal seems to have dispelled users’ doubts by offering an extended warranty beyond the life of the car and let some of the prospective owners who had ordered the car put down their worries, but the product quality issues involved behind this incident have not been dispelled.

Some professionals even directly pointed out that the ideal is “too ripped”.

After the test event, some Chongqing netizens began to spontaneously go to the pit, whether it is the problem of the pit, or the problem of the air suspension?

To 90 km / h speed rushing through a deep pit more than 20 cm of the real conditions exist? If this is really the case, why are the tires fine and the wheels not deformed?

Does the so-called trial part problem hold water? Or is there a problem with the development process?

In the process of high-end Chinese brands, including new car makers, to promote the development of domestic air suspension, similar to this air spring fracture problem, does it mean that in the pursuit of intelligence and high-end new car makers, there are manufacturing shortcomings?

Whose fault is it that the air suspension breaks?

From the response of Ideal PR and Ideal Auto, the air suspension problem mainly lies in the driving conditions and trial parts.

In the response of Ideal Auto, it is mentioned that “because of the supply problem, some of the test cars used the cushion ring in the trial production stage. Although the trial version meets safety standards, it will occasionally fail when encountering large impact conditions.”

RISO also said that the actual production version of the buffer ring is 2.5 times stronger than the trial version, and will not have problems in the face of larger impacts.

Hu Zhengnan, former director of Geely Research Institute, who is well versed in the automotive development process, raised questions: Why should prototype parts with different performance be made? What should be the state of the prototype at each stage of TT (tooling test), PP (small batch production), VP (prototype confirmation), and MP (mass production)? Are there any problems with the development process and quality management, PPAP (Production Part Approval Process)?

Figure source: from the network
Some people in the auto industry point out that it is not reasonable to use trial parts for production cars. Although this possibility cannot be ruled out because of parts supply problems and catching up with the market progress, the development of hard film parts such as suspensions should have been verified by the installed cars in the whole car development, and the possibility that there is a big gap between trial parts and production parts is also very small.

If this air spring stock fracture occurred in the trial car rather than the production car, then the ideal in taking the trial car to the store experience, is it because the production car is insufficient, or is there really a loophole in the product development and verification link?

If the problem occurred in the validation stage, then the PR explanation would be justified, and the problems revealed in the validation stage would be part of the validation process. And if Ideal is using a prototype car instead of a mass-produced car as a test drive in stores, what should be done about the safety hazards that arise?

Obviously, the series of problems exposed by Ideal because of the PR answer loophole was not further explained in the follow-up response.

The accompanying follow-up was an urgent response from Ideal’s air spring supplier, Paulown Technology, which said it had not received any complaints about the quality of the problem.

Photo source: screenshot of the statement of Prolong Technology
According to the inquiry of Pinnacle, Paulown Technology started the development of air spring products in 2012, started the research and development of air spring damper product line in 2016, and as the market demand for intelligent products increased, started to set up a research and development team in 2018 for the attack development of ECAS active suspension system integration. 2021 started to do mass production for a new power product delivery to do mass production.

However, the response pointed out that it is the customers who use the air springs of Paulus Technologies have not received any feedback on the failure of air spring products, the meaning is also clear: there are still many customers who use our products, and the ideal L9 has not yet been officially delivered, so perhaps the pot is not yet counted on people’s heads.

With this, since the launch of the ideal L9 involved in the product problems of various controversies, ideal car evasive, flawed response, precisely to create a lot of problems should not exist.

Just a few days ago, the founder of the ideal car, Li Xiang, just responded by microblogging about the suspension lower swing arm coating problem, its direct analogy with the housing structure problem to the car structure problem also attracted a crowd of professionals to the line.

Some people in the auto industry told Pin Drive that general auto companies do not purposely do coating for the suspension lower swing arm, and Li’s seemingly professional reply actually did not further explain the difference between aluminum alloy and cast iron in terms of strength and lightweight.

Domestic supply chain substitution should not take the pot either

The ideal air suspension rollover incident is not unrelated to its previous excessive marketing.

In addition to positioning itself as the best SUV within 5 million, product development concept benchmarking Apple, etc., Ideal has been using the so-called “ultimate product definition capability” to communicate its products.

Benchmarking with Apple has become the brainwashing tactic of Ideal’s marketing.
This also makes the public focus on the ideal L9 has been on the part of the cockpit experience. When the so-called self-driving full-stack self-research becomes the core capability, the intelligent cockpit is caught in the competition of arithmetic in-volume and experience innovation, but in the traditional manufacturing link, it starts to be gradually ignored.

It is understood that there are three suppliers of ideal L9 air springs, Paulong Technology, Kong Hui Technology, and Wibak, the first two of which are local Chinese suppliers.

In fact, with the start of new car manufacturing and high-end new energy vehicles, air suspension systems have been applied up successively, including Azure, Ideal, Extreme Krypton and Arashiro, and the trend of domestic replacement of air suspension suppliers has gradually started.

A parts industry sources told Pin driving, although the market luxury brands and other 600,000 models will be equipped with the air suspension system, and mainly choose foreign brands of air suspension system, but as the new forces began to make the car in 300,000, 400,000-class models equipped with the air suspension system, also led to the rise of local suppliers. Including Great Wall, BYD and other brands also consider the configuration of air suspension systems in subsequent models.

Air suspension is mainly a system composed of springs, shock absorbers, and connecting rods. Air suspension changes the length of the springs by changing the volume of the air chamber in the suspension structure, so that it can achieve the adjustment of ground clearance distance, and also adjust the soft and hard characteristics.

The air suspension system can not only improve comfort by filtering high-frequency vibration and noise, but also adjust the body height to improve handling, and for new energy vehicles, the air suspension system can automatically lower the body height in order to reduce wind resistance and improve range.

Photo source: Zhihu
So, for high-end new energy vehicles, whether to improve range or comfort, air suspension has become a new in-roll configuration. As a system that enhances the ride comfort experience, it also makes it a signature feature of luxury models.

As previously described by Proton Technology, a complete air suspension system includes air springs, air compressor, and a distribution valve. Air compressor and distribution valve is generally integrated together, plus rising spin package and spin system, generally together called the air unit ASU, as well as the controller ECU, also pass including sensors such as body height sensors and acceleration sensors, plus storage tanks and air lines these key components to the composition, the general air suspension will also be used with electronically controlled shock absorbers.

A supplier revealed that foreign suppliers like Continental and Wibak a complete set of air suspension system development cycle is long, generally in 2 years or more than 2 years, but the new domestic vehicle development companies want to compress the vehicle in about 18 months, so they prefer to break up the procurement, their own system integration, or with the help of third-party engineering services companies, the entire system is broken up and sent to fixed points The air suspension may seem to improve the comfort, but it is not.

Air suspension seems to enhance comfort, but if the tuning is not appropriate, there will be problems such as rattles, as a configuration that is only standard on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and other models, BBA usually has its own tuning program.

Some industry insiders point out that there may still be a large gap between the system integration and tuning capabilities of new car makers and luxury brands.

Last year, Azera had customer complaints about air suspension rattles, high failure rates, and high repair costs. Perhaps the way to keep users and reputation for new car-making companies that seem to be sailing smoothly on the road to high-end is not simply to extend warranties but to be able to deal head-on with all the problems in the car manufacturing process.


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Threza Gabriel
Threza Gabriel
TechGoing is a global tech media to brings you the latest technology stories, including smartphones, electric vehicles, smart home devices, gaming, wearable gadgets, and all tech trending.

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