- The four-door Jeep Wrangler tipped over twice in crash testing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said on Thursday.
- The test was the driver-side small front overlap, in which vehicles often do not tip over. Due to that, the IIHS gave the Wrangler its second-lowest rating in that particular category.
- The IIHS said the Wrangler did well by normal test metrics, which generally measure how well the driver’s survival space within the vehicle holds up.
- But a vehicle tipping over is “not an acceptable outcome” and even partial rollovers “are especially dangerous in crashes,” the IIHS said.
- In a statement to Business Insider, Jeep’s owner Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) said it has “produced more than 500,000 of these vehicles” and is “unaware of any incidents that correlate” with the IIHS result.
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The four-door Jeep Wrangler tipped over twice during crash testing with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the organisation announced on Thursday. That isn’t supposed to happen, landing the Wrangler some less-than-stellar ratings in the test.
During the driver-side small overlap test of the Wrangler, which was redesigned in 2018, the SUV tipped over onto its side two different times after impacting a barrier at 40 mph. That prompted the IIHS to hand the model a “marginal” safety rating in that category – one level above “poor,” its lowest of four ratings.
One of the partial rollovers can be seen in the IIHS’ YouTube video of the test, and the marginal rating applies to Wranglers for the 2018 through 2020 model years.
The IIHS said the Wrangler did not tip over in a test conducted by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the company that produces the Jeep brand.
“Rollovers – even partial ones like those that occurred in the Wrangler tests – are especially dangerous crashes, in part due to the risk of complete or partial ejection,” the IIHS said. “This is a particular concern in the Wrangler, which has a roof and doors that can be removed.
“The Wrangler also lacks side-curtain airbags designed to deploy in a rollover to keep occupants inside. It is not required by regulation to have side curtain airbags because of its removable roof.”
With the results, the IIHS told CNET the Wrangler became the first vehicle to tip over during the driver-side small overlap test. The 2020 Mazda CX-30, recently tested by the IIHS, shows a more normal example of a test outcome.
Here’s how those test results look next to each other, for reference:
The IIHS said the Wrangler did well by the normal metrics of this particular test, given that the “driver’s space was maintained well and the dummy’s movement was well controlled.” Risk of injury to the dummy’s legs and feet was also low, the IIHS said.
But the vehicle tipping over in two separate tests isn’t exactly part of those test metrics, thus downgrading the Wrangler’s ratings.
“The partial rollover presents an additional injury risk beyond what the standard criteria are intended to measure in small overlap frontal crash tests,” the IIHS wrote. “A vehicle tipping onto its side is not an acceptable outcome for a frontal crash and, as a result, the Wrangler’s overall rating was downgraded to marginal.”
FCA told Business Insider that it has “produced more than 500,000 of these vehicles” that have “accounted for 6.7 billion miles of on-road driving” by a conservative estimate.
“From this population, we are unaware of any incidents that correlate with the vehicle dynamic portion of the IIHS test result,” an FCA spokesperson said. “No single test determines vehicle safety. FCA routinely monitors third-party evaluations and factors such findings into our product-development process.
“We design our vehicles for real-world performance. And real-world data, along with continuing demand, indicate[s] the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited meets or exceeds customer expectations.”
The Wrangler received “good” ratings in every other crash category, which is the highest the IIHS offers. Its headlights got the lowest rating of “poor.”
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