We all know the automotive market is a hot mess right now, which is why this latest news can’t come at a worse time for Fiat Chrysler.
That’s because its shining star Jeep brand recently earned itself an embarrassing distinction in a crash test performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The 2019 Wrangler — which was redesigned the model year prior — was reportedly the first vehicle to ever tip over during the IIHS driver-side small overlap front crash test.
The IIHS took the Wrangler through its course of tests during the kind of standard audit the agency initiates to validate the crash tests that automakers conduct on their own. When the Wrangler was put through the 40 mile-per-hour small overlap test, its front driver’s side hit the barrier and tipped onto its side.
FCA reportedly questioned the results, as they contend the Jeep did not tip over in their own tests. The IIHS said they’d reconfigure the propulsion system and perform the test a second time, and even got FCA’s approval on the new test method. And unfortunately for FCA, the Wrangler tipped over again.
The Wrangler earned good marks in the other tests, but the IIHS gave it a “Marginal” rating for the small overlap test. One of the biggest areas of concern seems to be the compounded risk for injury in a tip or rollover, especially in a vehicle where the roof and doors are removable.
Fiat Chrysler told CNet’s Roadshow that it’s produced 500,000 of these vehicles and, thus far, is “unaware of any incidents that correlate with the vehicle dynamic portion of the IIHS test result."