The Many Mysteries Surrounding The Chery Omoda 5 Brake Issue

The story about Chery Omoda 5 that couldn’t stop has more than a few holes, from both parties actually…

Say Chery to anyone in the past few days, and the first thing that probably comes to mind now is brakes. Such is after all for the hot local drama in the Malaysian internet space this past week being about a particularly viral post about a lady ranting in distress for the brakes on her Omoda 5 to not be working. 

Parked by the KESAS Awan Besar toll booth, the anguished lady further pointed out that this was not to be the first time that her Omoda 5 had problems with coming to a halt. The viral video further saw her make it very clear too that she has been in and out of a Chery dealership multiple times in her attempt to this lingering issue, but the service centre in question allegedly just brushed it aside.  

Now following the vitality of this video, Chery, to its credit, has been rather proactive in releasing not one, but two, official statements addressing this particular case. But while this proactivity is certainly a welcome change of pace to how automakers typically deal with customer problems in Malaysia, the responses that came were, to put it bluntly, not exactly satisfactory in the eyes of most netizens. 

The second update from Chery in particular — which saw the automaker state that a subsequent Puspakom inspection on the supposedly defective vehicle had returned no adverse findings — left more questions than answers, with there to be some valid criticism too on the perceived tone from the Chinese automaker in regard to its response. Something that was not helped of course by it promoting its sales figures and critical acclaim on that same address. 

Though in the interest of balance here and perhaps just playing up the devil’s advocate too (a role which is admittedly not the most appropriate in this situation), it is probably worth highlighting here that there is actually to also be more than a few mysteries surrounding the driver’s side of the story here as well. 

So seeing as this he said, she said saga about an apparently brake-less Omoda 5 is still very much brewing in the foreground, here then are some of the more pressing questions that should be answered by their respective parties, in order to provide everyone with a clearer picture of what exactly is going on.

To Chery: 

1. Was there actually a problem with the brakes?

See, while Chery did state for a thorough in-house investigation to have been completed on the allegedly faulty vehicle in question, and that it has sent the vehicle for a Puspakom test, the automaker did nevertheless stop one step short of actually disclosing if it has found a problem or not. So it therefore begs the rather legitimate question then: Was there anything wrong with the brakes in the first place?

2. Was anything done to the brakes after taking the vehicle back?

Along roughly the same line too as the first question too, there was similarly no clarification given by Chery on whether anything was fettled with by the technicians between the time when the viral video was posted and when the car was eventually tested at Puspakom. Such gaps in the information provided to its side of the story therefore naturally the cynics around assume some sort of hanky-panky is afoot, even if there simply wasn’t.  

2. Did this have anything to do with the Australian Chery Omoda 5 brake recall?

One other major point that was rather conspicuously missing from Chery’s response as well is any mention of the Omoda 5 having recently been recall in Australia for a brake issue, which saw nearly 6,000 cars down under experiencing reduced braking performance due to an insufficiently tightened bolt securing the brake pipe union. 

And while it may be reasonably argued by Chery that this vehicle was not affected by this recall, and that bringing up this unrelated issue only adds potential unnecessary alarm to this particular case, the omission of its existence does nevertheless still expose the automaker to thoughts of what other information it could be withholding from the public.  

To The Driver

1. How did she actually stop the car?

As for the driver’s part meanwhile, perhaps the biggest, most obvious (and also most redundant) unanswered question around is the simple query of how did she eventually bring the Omoda 5 to a stop? 

Did she knock the car into neutral and coast to a halt, or did she pull the (electronic) handbrake? Or perhaps there was a little bit of Fred Flintstones action going on? 

Jokes aside though, the information on how the car was stopped would shed light on what exactly was constituted by the driver to be brake failure in this case. A point that is further given pertinence when considering that a squidgy brake feel and a tremendously heavy pedal both could be described by anyone not familiar with cars as feeling like their car is not stopping, but has completely different root causes.  

2. Were the factory floor mats secured down properly?

While on this general topic of pedals, it should be worth asking about whether the factory floor mats were secured down properly or not. Now this line of questioning may seem odd, but there are high profile incidents of improperly secured floor mats leading to said carpets wedging themselves amidst the pedals, which in turn caused their ineffective operations and eventual unfortunate vehicular mishaps. 

And while this may be construed as a question that is far from tactful, it nevertheless should be queried on whether it could be the choice of (thick-soled) footwear (as briefly seen on the lady’s feet in the viral video) that may have lead one to feel as if the brakes had no bite…

In any case, while there is reasonably no expectation for the distressed lady to subject herself to further questions after this since-viral incident, it would nevertheless do some good for Chery’s (or any other automaker’s for that matter) corporate image to be slightly more forthcoming with more details (and a little bit less self-promotion) in their future responses to complaints. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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