The Chinese-built Chery J11 has been recalled in Australia over concerns of its structural integrity in side impact crashes.


A total of 1664 Chery J11 compact SUVs have been recalled over the defect, which comes just seven months after it was launched in Australia in February. It is understood approximately 900 vehicles are in the hands of owners, while the rest remain with Chery dealers and other departments of the manufacturer.

The official recall notice on the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission website explains:

“In the event of a side impact, the vehicle may not perform to the manufacturer’s required specifications.

“The side impact capabilities of the vehicle may not adequately protect the occupants in the event of an accident.”

Daniel Cotterill from Chery’s Australian distributor, Ateco Automotive, explained the defect was detected by Chery after it conducted its own independent crash tests (not conducted by ANCAP).

Earlier this year, the Chery J1 light car was independently crash tested and recalled as a result, after it was concluded its safety could be improved by amending the construction of the front seatbacks. Following this revelation, Chery Australia decided to put the J11 through similar tests, which found the SUV was susceptible to the same problems as the hatch.

The J11 recall action requires both front seats to be removed from the vehicle and the backrest assembly to be replaced on each one. The notice also says “additional items” will be installed in the centre console and side pillars. Mr Cotterill said he understood these ‘additional items’ were trim elements that would be replaced to improve safety. He said crash test footage showed some pieces of trim had come loose and broken off during impact.

The recall repair will take two hours to complete. Affected owners will be contacted by mail, and are advised to contact their Chery dealership to book in the service.

Mr Cotterill said seatback instability issue was unlikely to be replicated in the recently released $14,990-driveaway Chery J3 small car.

“The J3 is a much more modern design … it’s a bit of a different proposition,” he said.

Chery became the second Chinese car brand in Australia in February, and in just over seven months it has endured two safety recalls. Mr Cotterill said the it was “unfortunate” that the brand’s launch had been tarnished by safety concerns, but stopped short of calling it disappointing.

“I can’t imagine any manufacturer would want to be in this situation. But it’s certainly spurred them in to action. Personally, I wouldn’t say the word ‘disappointed’, but it’s kicked them into action.”

The Chery J11 has just been crash tested by ANCAP, although no star rating is available yet as ANCAP is still compiling the final report. ANCAP spokesman Allan Yates said the full report would be released “in the next few weeks”.

Although unable to pre-empt or elaborate on the results, Mr Yates said the J11 could not score the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating as it is not fitted with electronic stability control (ESC). Since 2008, any vehicle targeting a five-star rating needed to be equipped with ESC.

The J11 is Australia’s cheapest SUV, priced from $17,990 driveaway. It is equipped with two front airbags, ABS and EBD, but misses out on a number of key safety features like ESC, as well as side and curtain airbags and traction control.

Without ESC, the Chery range is not available in Victoria, as the state mandated the technology for all new passenger vehicles from the beginning of this year.

According to the Australian Design Rule 31/02 – Brake Systems for Passenger Cars, the rest the country’s states and territories will require all new passenger vehicles introduced from November 1, 2011 to be fitted with ESC as standard, and then all passenger vehicles to follow suit from November 1, 2013.

Therefore, Chery can continue selling the current versions of the J1, J3 and J11 in all states but Victoria until November 1, 2013 as long as it does not introduce an update that does not include ESC.

Mr Cotterill said it was Chery’s intention to equip all its vehicles with ESC as soon as possible, but admitted he had no indication of when Australians could expect the potentially life-saving technology to be added to the range.

  • Golfschwein

    It’s not often I would suggest this, but buy a used Toyota RAV4.

    • Lucii Pooky

      If you buy a Chery J11, you essentially are!

      • Golfschwein

        Ahem (shhh!), that’s what I meant 😉

        • Golfschwein

          S’orright, folks, I wasn’t being narky.

    • Charger

      Just about anything would be better than one of these shouldnt be allowed to be sold anything under 4 stars shouldnt be allowed to be imported

      • Matt

        How many cars are on the roads these days that are less then 4 stars? I would guess about half with the amount of older cars around. So why shouldn’t we be able to import cars that are on par with so many of the other cars on our roads?

    • Ccshirley

      I brought a chery J11 and now for the last week it has been sitting in Honda’s workshop.  They cannot figure out why it wont start.  The communication from them to me is poor and I am constantly phoning to find out what is happening but they have no idea.   It is a great car but before you buy consider the safety rating and also parts, ask the sales person loads of questions as I was told it would be serviced by Toyota for a capped price and it is not it is serviced by Honda.  I do not have my car serviced at Honda as it is to expensive but I do buy the parts from them and have it serviced elsewhere.  Good luck.

      • Mporkchop

        haha you sound like me, my car has been back to the workshop that many times in its short period of time and yet for the last couple of month it has been good but sadly its booked in again for more maintenance work cause the bugger keeps falling apart, i wonder who else out there are having problems with the product and the dealerships that don’t care about after-sales care

  • CS

    I need a new rear quarter window for my daughters 2004 RAV4 – do you think I should go to Toyota and get a genuine one, or should I get a Chery J11 and take the rear glass out and throw the rest away – looks like it would fit…oh, hang on a minute – its probably not safety glass..

    • Torque

      Drive your knee into the J11 quarter panel and the window will fall into your hands.

  • John Citizen

    looks like the bastard child of Rav4, CRV and Vitara

  • Toyota Guru

    How many people will these things kill before they get banned in Australia?

  • Willie

    I’d feel safer taking the midnight train rather than owning one of the cheap Chinese wanna be cars. I wouldn’t let my family risk their lives.

  • Eric

    Recalls are all the rage these days, maybe Cherry belives if they have as many recalls as Toyota they will sell as many cars as them??

  • dadar

    I’m sorry, but why am I not surprised? =\

  • Anthony Crawford

    They do provide a cheaper new car, than any of the other manufacturers. I think “someone” may be trying to destroy the brand before it begins to build momentum. Just a thought.

    • Simon

      The brand is destroying themselves – can’t argue with the fact they are building unsafe cars…

    • Baddass

      I think that is a pretty naive statement Anthony, any company can skimp on safety to sell a cheaper car. I would be a supporter of the company if it was able to manufacture safe cars and maintain the incredibly cheap prices, but you get what you pay for. On another note, if I was Chery, I would be hesitant about revealing such alarming safety concerns (even if they are being recalled). It makes you think what else might be wrong with it…
      BTW s this based on the old RAV4? If so, will it have similar safety concerns?

      • kazuo

        obviouse u havent involved in manufacturing business. its hard to increase quality while offering cheap prices. because cost of materials, labour, tools etc

        • Baddass

          Nissan Micra is very safe and maintains a low price point. It is a pretty reliable machine also.

          • Carter

            The perfect replacement to a bicycle. Kmart Huffys are safe, cheap and very reliable.

          • kazuo

            micra is a nice little car. my point is, nissan is already well established car manufacture with experianced engineer and equipment to make cars cheap and cheerful, but for a new manufacture its very hard, cash flow, market share, brand, expert engineering etc

    • Torque

      I guess many aussies find it amusing (to say the least) to see seemingly copied sections of several other makers cars assembled together in a cheap new car.
      Cracking our market is hard as others have found out and a bitsa car will not help IMO. I saw one of these for the first time and wondered WTH is that, a rebirthed or modified vehicle. Some originality would go a long way.

  • vx

    Judging by this swift recall decision, j11’s ancap result must be really bad. we will find out in next ancap report.

  • Muff

    I bet the importer really earning big bucks by importing this junk to here.

  • ab

    Replacing trim in the centre console and side pillars??? More likely they are welding in extra supports and bracing!

  • Mohamad is right when he says

    How the hell is there 1664 stupid people in Australia?

    • Car Fanatic

      1665 if we include you Mohamad!

  • Happy Dude

    Whats with the car In the 4th photo…? The wheel arch dosnt appeared to be cut straight at the back wheel…???

    • Handsome Al

      According to Chery.. That is for wheel travel..

    • dadar

      That is QUALITY ENGINEERING right there brooooo!
      Attention to detail at its finest.

      (for those who are oblivious, note the sarcasm)

  • Moe

    1664 people thought they bought a Rav 4…….

    • Mohamad is right when he says

      1664 people that most likely brought these cars for their businesses and don’t care what they drive like/quality because they don’t drive them and are just used for company cars.. If u think I’m wrong.. Well I’ve seen heaps of great wall utes as company vehicles..

    • Force-15

      I doubt that many private buyers would be interested in these new Chinese cars either, let along wanting to buy them. Asthetically the exteriors are bad enough, but the interiors are especially nasty. (Just look at the J11’s cabin above and tell me you don;t feel sick.) Then you have to deal with mediocre perforance and poor structural integrity. These cars are the very definition of the phrase “cheap and nasty”.

    • sw2092

      No, 1664 have not bought this car. The article said: ‘A total of 1664 Chery J11 compact SUVs have been recalled over the defect… It is understood approximately 900 vehicles are in the hands of owners, while the rest remain with Chery dealers and other departments of the manufacturer.’ So there’s 764 unsold J11’s out there… Wonder why : )

      • Matt

        “Wonder why :)”, Unsold cars means nothing… A higher selling car would have even more unsold cars as stock.

  • Gibbo

    Who forgot to mention to the Chinese that their cars should be crash tested before they go into production? Recalls for faulty wireing or a leaking hose are one thing, but a recall to spend 2 hours beefing a car up so it doesnt completely fail in a crash is just absurd. Just goes to prove that you get what you pay for.

  • Mohamad is right when he says

    Soon Australian car manufacturing will be a thing of the past.. Thanks to all the supporters of these cheap heaps of u know what. More and more brands keep coming in to the country. And are leaving our jobs/plants for dead. Support Holden/Ford/Toyota.. As they also support Aussie jobs

    • kazuo

      thats so true. more and more models are import here now. the problems is local manufacture dont provide wide range of products. holden have done good move by manufacturing cruze.

  • Mohamad is right when he says

    What is stopping cherry/great wall and all other rubbish from copying Aussie car designs? When they do (not if) they are going to step on alot of toes and upset alot of people.

  • chery

    Some people who owned a 10 years or more old used car always reply the Chinese cars are not safe. It is certainly not as safe as VOLVO, but it is safer than most used car which are more than 10 years. Those car don’t have a ESC or even an airbag. Why don’t you judge those cars?

    • mohamad is right when he

      because that is 10 years ago.. and we are living in NOW.. get with the times.. a wagon and horse is safer than these heaps of turd.

      • Yeti Man

        It remind me of the the first generation Hyundai Excel, what a piece of s… but look at it now. My first car was a brand new Nissan Pulsar made in Victoria and it was not well assemble. The Chinese car industry is still ten years behind the rest of the industry. I think Protectionism and regulation are thing of the past.

    • adam

      60 years ago cars don’t even have seat belts why not judge those? So stupid…..

    • AB

      @ chery,

      10 year old cars are almost BA Falcons and VY Commodores…. Driver, Passenger and side airbags, ESC, ABS, EBD… the list goes on!!
      In fact most 10 year old cars (comparitively priced to the Chery now) have this equipment

      For the price of a new Chery, you could easily get a low km, well kept quality second hand car!

      Average family cars 10 years ago were way more advanced than this Chery!

  • Jerrycan

    I have said it before but:
    A law should be passed to compel the executives of the importing company to drive the most basic (unsafe) car in their range around Australia for 10,000 klm each year. And they have to take their families with them. And they should have targets painted on them (the cars)

    I think that would make them more aware of their cars failings.

    I have similar laws in mind for executives of cigarette companies as well.

    • Baddass

      There is a key difference between choosing a cheap car because you can’t afford better and risking death in a crash, and choosing to smoke and waste thousands of dollars every year funding your addiction, whilst in all likelihood reducing your lifespan dramatically.

  • Des

    This is just a hiccup for the Chinese, remember the Hyundai Excel strut tower problems of late 90’s? Now we praise the Koreans…..well some do.
    Whether the Chinese can match the Koreans quality goals, and I do doubt that very much, there is no doubt the Chinese are coming.

  • Chery owner

    I don’t car what anyone thinks but I have no complaints about my Chery.
    I have owned different brands over the years and one of those had constant recalls,one including after 2 year they decided that all the seat belts where faulty,I think it is part and parcel of owning a cnew car.
    Get over it, if you don’t like them don’t buy one, and cars are only dangerous when you have dick rads behind the wheel

    • Ray of Bris

      @Chery owner: These cars are dangerous whether there is a “dick rad” (sic) behind the wheel or not, as you cannot control every accident, i.e. someone else runs into you or your car skids over a patch of oil. On the bright side however, you will probably remain complaint free as the chances of surviving a major crash are pretty low anyway.

    • scottjames_12

      Cars are only dangerous when you have dick!@#ds behind the wheel? Are you really that ignorant? What if an animal jumps in front of your car when your doing 100km/h? What if a kid runs out in front of you and you swerve and hit a pole? If someone in your car dies in that situation, are you going to ask yourself ‘if I’d bought a car with better safety, would they still be alive?’

    • Toyota Guru

      ^ The comment above was provided by none other than the man himself, Daniel Cotterill of Ateco Australia. 😉

      • Toyota Guru

        oops, “Chery owner” I meant.

  • http://caradvice OSU811

    Hahahahahaha, S##T boxes..

  • Stevo Terry

    The recall doesn’t go far enough – they should recall them back to the factory.

  • save it for the track

    If an animal runs in front of you (particularly doing 100 on a country road), better just to brake, do not swerve in the first instance, reduce the speed then try and steer, much less chance of rollovers and hitting trees (and esc etc. seems not to make a difference when drivers swerve in the first instance). Vehicles travelling at or near the speed limit also have better chances of avoiding accidents with wildlife (particularly at night).
    As for Chery. I can think of several of my 90’s mid size vehicles that I’ve had in the family that are safer than these hunks of junk. One even had no ABS or airbag and certainly no ESC, it’s basic chassis dynamics and handling kept it out of trouble, and in ‘howsafeismycar’ ratings scores quite well, and even outscores some newer vehicles in ‘pedestrian safety’.

    • scottjames_12

      Yep, a few years ago I was doing about 110km/h on a country road south-east of Perth, at night. I was in my old 99 Nissan Pulsar, and a couple of roos jumped out in front of me. I did the stupid thing and swerved onto the wrong side of the road, but I was lucky. The road was empty and I managed to catch the mini-slide that resulted, and I missed the roos. Was a terrifying wake up call though!

      Now, the Pulsar was by no means an awesome piece of safety engineering, but it handled pretty well and I think had I been in something a bit shoddier I would have been in a tree. IMHO, never discount build quality and handling as a safety factor. Sure its great to have all these airbags and electronic aides but if the car handles well you may not need them.

  • The Car Professor

    There’s always some attitude to new and inexpensive things.
    Of course Chery are disappointed that their cars needed a recall – but at least they determined the problem and did something about it – without being asked.
    Pity the same can’t be said about all the “old” Hyundai’s Protons, KIA’s and other Korean cars on the roads in Australia. How soon people forget – the Koreans didn’t even have air bags in their cars a few years ago.
    One last thought dear readers – Where is your Apple IPhone, IPod and IPad made?

    • C. Glass Esq.

      The Apple comparison has just two tiny flaws, my friend.

      1. Those products are made under strict quality control by a Western company that has spent millions of dollars building their brand, which is a triumph of marketing over substance.

      2. Anyone that buys an overpriced, overhyped Made in China piece of iCrap deserves everything they get.

  • Simonsez

    On one hand I feel that Chery owners deserve to pay the price for their own poor choices: however ,the ongoing costs of treating people suffering from catastrophic injuries due to the alleged safety defects would impact on us all over time.

  • save it for the track

    I view the making of motor vehicles much in the light of driving them. i.e. a bit of commonsense and some manual dexterity is required.
    Electronics are very much ‘brain smarts’, not requiring much commonsense or manual dexterity.
    I therefore view Chinese manufacturers much the same as drivers from the same region….

  • C. Glass Esq.

    Chery is looking more and more like a modern day Lada. Car buyers saw through just how cheap and nasty Ladas were and avoided them like the plague. Thankfully, car buyers haven’t dumbed down too much in the last 20 years and most seem to see through just how appalling these Chery things really are. They make Great Wall look good, and that’s saying something.

  • Brett

    Let the haters hate and the whiners whine! You are all a bunch of women who have nothing better to do than express your soap boxed opinions. I don’t own a cherry, and being 28 never will as Im past that stage in life. In saying this, had this been around when I bought my first car in 2000 or second in 2003 I wouldn’t of said no. I think it would of been a great opportunity to own a brand new car for that money. Safety and options are very reasonable for what you pay. And people need to see this, you get what you pay!!! Its like comparing the safety of a cruze ro a bmw/merc, of course it gets better the more you spend … It’s fantastic young / single parents / new drivers etc have a Reasonably safe reliable and ECONOMICALLY priced vehicles to feel proud of owning, especially that new car feeling!!!

  • ma 40

    why dont all you experts have a look at the recall lists over the years if leading brands sold here my toyota prado grande had a number of recalls a 50k plus vehicle. One was to replace rear axles because they were breaking off at the hub assy the tech told me mine were about to fail i would call that a real safety issue. All vehicles have some teething problems. You wouldnt expect chery to be exempt from this at least they are taking steps to rectify the issue. Any way for the price you pay for them there still value for money for someone that wants a new car with new car warranty they will look attractive. You don’t buy a car so that you can go out and crash it.They have a place in the market the Chinese will make sure they just get better and beter with time.I once had the use of a friends lada niva cheap car for a week and took it fishing on the beach this vehicle drove awfully but the funniest thing was i pulled a guy and his family out of the soft sand he was driving a 100 series landcruiser was embarrassing for him all vehicles have there purpose for different people

  • wong

    I have owned a T11 for almost 4 years and the distances that we travel in Singapore is a lot less than in Australia – well I have been lucky that my car have several somewhat no so severe issues unlike other owners who have had no end of issues – the problem with Chery products is that the cars does not have long term reliability and lacks quality control so it is kinda like a lucky draw whether you get a problematic car or otherwise – spares availability are also issues and they certainly are not cheaper – sometimes out pricing parts for Japanese / Korean cars

  • Chery is good

    What you mean Chery is going to the rubbish? We prefer call it recycling…
    What you mean Chery not so good? Poor is a quality too…
    What you mean Chery not safe? You gonna die one day anyway..
    What you mean Chery look like used Toyota? Look like new Chery to me…..
    What you mean it go very slowly? It faster than walking and not run away like horse…….

    Sankyou and greetings from Chery mgmt and please go to enjoy our new model that bring happy feeling to your life

    • wong

      Well Chery( above) – if you are happy with a car like that and if the above at CHERY management is just going to live with and build this quality of products then so be it – you folks in CHERY just continue to live in your well and croak – I would suggest however that you all take a lesson from the Japanese which was making products that was the butt of jokes but not anymore – they got their act together and today make very reliable and quality products – not neccessarily with great character like Lamborginis etc but boy oh boy the Honda / Subaru / Nissan that I have owned have had far better reliability than this CHERY T11 . I have since warranty expired used aft market non CHERY parts that are suitable and things are looking up – but not all things are able to be replaced by non CHERY parts unfortunately

  • Mywong08

    Let CHERY owners beware – Right Hand Drive model replacement parts seems to be very difficult to come by and almost impossible to be bought except from the importing agents .

    You can try internet sites from China but inevitably they will be applicable for LHD models – if they are common parts – no issues but if you want specific RHD parts then problems .

    A good example is the brake master cylinder – there are LHD and RHD car differences

  • munted

    Its great reading your comments. I looked at the chery J11 as it fitted my needs. Good leg room in backseats (RAV4 is tighter), the price and it is higher off the ground. Thats it. I have been an owner of 4wds and can comment on the various brands but as with all makes, they have teething probs. Safety is a must to be fixed for me. Thats it. And why do we not get Japanese 2nd hand imports in. I had one and value for money was great. As for the new holden anf Ford utes, they look ugly, bring back the old style (I just had to have my say). Cheers

  • Snooze_64

    I am one of those stupid people that purchased a Chery J11.. nothing but trouble from the day I picked it up.. but I knew I wasn’t buying A BMW! In saying that, I have had my car serviced twice since owning it, and the licenced mechanic has never tested the hand brake… result?? My Chery rolled and has sustained over $3000 in damages! Not the manufacturers problem, (so I am told), not the dealers problem (so I am told) and the mechanic denies responsibility…..FML

  • Denese Andrews

    Hi I have just bought a chery 2011 J11 and now I have found that these cherys are being recalled because they are dangerous , I would like someone to contact me as soon as as possible , I am scared to drive it now so it sits in my front yard and I don’t have a car at all now