IIHS reports that new Jeep Wrangler SUV rolled over on its side during driver-side crash

May 7, 2020

The IIHS reported Thursday that the new Jeep Wrangler, which was last comprehensively updated for the 2018 model year, tipped over onto its passenger side during its driver-side small overlap crash test.

The insurance industry-funded safety watchdog said the Wrangler was tested three times, twice by the agency and once by the automaker. The automaker reported no rollovers in its testing, but the agency said the SUV tipped in both of its tests that were conducted to verify the automaker's findings.

In the crash test, the IIHS said the Wrangler was "Acceptable" at protecting its driver during the small-overlap crash test, which simulates an impact with an object that is roughly one-quarter of the frontal area with a car such as a light pole or tree. The rating was downgraded to "Marginal" after the rollover due to the increased risk of injury that can occur when a vehicle tips over.

In other crash tests performed by the agency, including moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints, the new Wrangler earned top "Good" ratings from the IIHS. Its optional automatic emergency braking system prevented forward crashes with other cars at 12 mph and 25 mph and earned a "Superior" rating. Only the headlights earned a "Poor" rating from the IIHS, regardless of trim level.

According to the IIHS, Jeep initially disputed the findings and said the Wrangler was not properly secured to the testing apparatus used by the IIHS. The IIHS said it secured the vehicle according to Jeep's specifications and tested the Wrangler a second time, where it rolled onto its side again.

A spokesman for Jeep said the automaker was unaware of any crashes that "correlate with the vehicle dynamic portion of the IIHS test result." The automaker said that more than 500,000 Wranglers have been built and traveled more than 6.7 billion miles on roads.

"No single test determines vehicle safety. (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) routinely monitors third-party evaluations and factors such findings into our product-development process. We design our vehicles for real-world performance," the automaker said in a statement. 

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Jeep's initial findings. The automaker reported that its Wrangler did not tip over during its crash tests.

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