Jeep’s Wrangler SUV has failed crash tests in spectacular fashion, flipping onto its side after striking stationary barriers.
The high-riding four-wheel-drive failed an independent crash test designed to replicate real-world scenarios.
The Wrangler rolled during a small overlap test which isn’t part of the usual test regimen administered by safety bodies such as Australia’s ANCAP.
Unsurprisingly, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) responsible for administering the test said “a vehicle tipping onto its side is not an acceptable outcome for a frontal crash”.
Slow-motion video of the test is particularly graphic, as the crash-test dummy flails from side to side while debris spin through the air like a zero-gravity scene in a blockbuster film.
Jeep’s parent body questioned the way the crash was administered, so the insurance body agreed to re-test the car to Fiat Chrysler’s specifications.
“The second test also ended with the vehicle tipping on its side,” an IIHS statement said.
“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.
“This is a particular concern in the Wrangler, which has a roof and doors that can be removed.”
The current-generation Wrangler has a patchy record with safety bodies.
ANCAP slammed the off-road machine with a one-star rating in May 2019, saying the car fell “well shy of the expected standard” for new vehicles.
Jeep made running changes to the machine, adding auto emergency braking and blind spot monitoring as standard features for all models.
On sale since November 2019, the revised Wrangler has a three-star safety rating which still represents a below-par result compared with most rivals.
The brand’s three-door and five-door Wranglers will soon be joined by a trayback “Gladiator” ute aimed at off-road enthusiasts.