The Jeep Wrangler JL turned in some interesting results in recent IIHS crash testing: occupants were well protected in a front small overlap crash, but the Wrangler ended up tipping over.
This is the first vehicle to ever tip in this test, a result that even the IIHS did not expect. Now, a spokesperson for the IIHS told Jalopnik that FCA is currently working on an engineering change for the JL Wrangler to help solve this issue, though details on that change are not clear.
“We can add that the Wrangler affords good protection by the standard measures of our crash tests,” said the IIHS. “They deserve credit for that good performance by the metrics we normally use. However, a vehicle tipping on its side in a frontal crash test is not acceptable. A partial roll would not happen in every real-world crash, but if it does happen it is not a good outcome. Still, we give the vehicle credit for what was good performance in the standard measurements of the test.”
To counteract the story, FCA released an official statement, discussing real-world crash test results for the Wrangler. Here’s the full FCA statement:
“FCA has produced more than 500,000 of these vehicles. By conservative estimate, they have accounted for 6.7 billion miles of on-road driving. From this population, we are unaware of any incidents that correlate with the vehicle dynamic portion of the IIHS test result.
With more than 75 available safety and security features, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited meets or exceeds all federal safety standards and continues to win acclaim from news organizations and consumer groups.
Since its 2017 introduction, the vehicle has earned one award nearly every eight weeks for attributes ranging from capability to residual value, and for achievements such as highest customer loyalty and SUV of the year.
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 the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited meets or exceeds customer expectations.”
This is not the first time that a crash test result has forced some engineers to go back to the drawing board, though the circumstances of this test are certainly unique.
We’ll have to wait and see what modifications Jeep makes to help keep four Wrangler tires on the ground.