2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Lethal | Swedish mag claims

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 by

Swedish magazine Teknikens Värld (Technology World) revealed potentially fatal roll over tendencies in 2012 Grand Cherokee during the moose test, a simulation of emergency lane change maneuver.  

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee moose test

2012 ’s potentially fatal roll over tendencies were revealed during the moose test by a Swedish magazine

The famous moose or elk test is designed to simulate evasive lane change act that a driver would carry out to avoid a large object such as a moose or an elk that suddenly runs in front of the car.

The moose test became particularly popular when in 1997, the then newly launched Mercedes A Class failed the test, forcing Mercedes to upgrade the A Class.

In latest test by the Swedish mag, the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee went up on two wheels and nearly rolled over during the moose test. This, despite an anti roll over system and top safety marks from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The vehicle was travelling at 63.5 km/h.

The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee in question was loaded according to Jeep’s official data submitted to the Swedish transport authorities. A driver, four passengers and some cargo weight by way of sand bags restrained to anchoring points in the trunk were loaded in the car for this test. The Grand Cherokee was provided by Jeep and tested with standard tires – 265/50 R20 in this case. All four tires were filled with correct air pressure as specified by Jeep. All other settings such as air suspension, chassis settings etc were set to normal mode.

Teknikens Varld moose test track

Teknikens Varld has been testing cars for many years including the moose test.

Volkswagen Touareg and Volvo XC90 were used as reference cars for this exact test under same criteria as the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Both cars could handle speeds of 70 km/h without any signs of roll over tendencies. Teknikens Värld had carried out a similar test on previous generation Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2005 and the car had handled 67 km/h without any problem.

“Stop selling this car in these specifications”, said Teknikens Värld’s Linus Pröjtz in the mag’s video about the test.

Here is Chrysler Group’s response to the test:

Advised of this event by the magazine, Chrysler Group engineers made numerous attempts to reproduce the wheel-lift in a properly loaded vehicle. Extensive testing produced no such result.

A subsequent evaluation was conducted by the magazine July 8 in Sweden and witnessed by Chrysler Group engineers. Three vehicles performed 11 runs on a course prepared by the magazine. None reproduced the original event.

The uncharacteristic result was obtained using a vehicle loaded beyond its weight specifications. The Grand Cherokee’s weight limitations are clearly stated on the vehicle and in the owner’s manual.

2 Responses to 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Lethal | Swedish mag claims

  1. Markus Hauf Reply

    July 11, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Quote from the above: “evasive lane change act that a driver would carry out to avoid a large object such as a moose or an elk that suddenly runs in front of the car”
    Which driver would do such a thing? May be a trained and cold blooded Rally professional. But would YOU and me do that? Now everybody ask themselves: What would I do in case a moose or an elk (or what ever animal) would suddenly run in front of my car?
    Would YOU not apply the brake but instead exactly steer the above outlined moose test procedure at your current speed? I doubt even the Swedish test driver would do that in case of an emergency situation.
    Or when YOU last attended a driver safety seminar, did the instructor tell you to NOT hit the brake but instead circle around a dramatic lane change with all the power you have in your arms at unchanged speed?
    Now, give it a giggle.
    See, and that´s why this entire moose test is nothing but an invention of some small swedish car mag in an attempt to create awareness with spectacular pictures. So cheap. Don´t allow them to fool you.
    BTW: did you know the magazine significantly overloaded the Grand Cherokee exceeding its max payload, just to achieve their target of having a spectacular picture? Jeep officially stated that their engineers went up to Sweden to try replicate the test together with the magazine and found out about the overload. They got the car back to its correct payload and the Swedish driver made eleven more test runs. Not once did the Grand Cherokee experience even a slight wheel lift. Why eleven test runs? Finally, after all this ordeal, some tires were so warn that they came of off the rims. Only then would the magazine stop their desperate test runs as no more new wheels were available on site. On their website, the magazine now blames the vehicle for loosing its tires. After all those continued untypical torture with a 2,4 tons vehicle.
    Would you believe that? Do. It happened. That´s what we call free press?       

    • Pankaj Dev

      Pankaj Dev Reply

      July 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      Maybe not a moose or elk, but the possibility of someone – a kid or an adult, running across the street can not be ruled out. I have faced such situations and know people where a kid has ran into them on the driving side mirror. When you are driving on the right side of road and a kid runs into you from the left – that’s definitely something to watch out for.

      As for the braking v/s steering argument – what a safety briefing tells is that a driver response is circumstantial – brake and avoid is usually more effective than simply jumping on the brakes, then again it depends on how much distance you have between the car and (on a lighter note) a moose or an elk. Hence the ABS systems in the cars that allow you to brake and be able to steer without losing control of the car.

      We are aware of Jeep’s response and actions. Here is a quote from the Swedish magazine on subsequent runs –

      In every performed moose test with Jeep Grand Cherokee, the car either went up on two wheels and was close to overturning or the tires were pried off the rims due to the heavy forces. When we performed the moose test with Chrysler/Fiat present the car manufacturer’s representatives on site provided the loading of the car. Then the tires were pried off the rims instead of going up on two wheels like before. A total of seven times, the tires were pried off the wheels, a very serious error that we have only seen once before – with Skoda Superb in 2010 (see image). When a tire is pried off the wheel the rim’s edge is exposed, which get stuck in the asphalt and may lead to a snatch and a roll over.

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