The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has completed its first crash testing session of the 2019 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited (JL) and the results weren’t what the Jeep brand was hoping for. The brand’s most iconic nameplate only scored a MARGINAL rating in the driver-side small overlap frontal crash test, due to the vehicle tipping over onto its passenger side after striking the crash test barrier.
The 2019 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport S model that was used in the overlap front crash, performed well by the normal metrics used by the IIHS to evaluate a vehicle’s performance during the test. However, when the vehicle struck the barrier and was propelled onto its passenger side, the IIHS stated that end result was “not an acceptable outcome” for a frontal crash, and as a result, the Wrangler’s overall rating was downgraded to MARGINAL.
The redesigned Wrangler was eligible for a driver-side small overlap rating based on manufacturer testing because the model’s previous generation earned a good rating in the test. Under the verification program, IIHS assigns a rating based on video of the manufacturer test and other documentation. In the test conducted by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the Wrangler did not tip over in the same crash performed.
When the Wrangler Unlimited tipped over in the audit test, FCA questioned whether the outcome was related to the method that the IIHS engineers had used to attach the vehicle to the crash propulsion system. IIHS agreed to conduct a second test using a different method, which was approved by FCA. That second test also ended with the Wrangler tipping on its side.
The IIHS stated that the Wrangler’s optional vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system (which Jeep calls the Advanced Safety Group), earned a SUPERIOR rating. According to the IIHS results, the system avoided collisions between 12 mph and 25 mph. The Wrangler also earned POOR ratings regarding the vehicle’s standard halogen headlights and its optional LED projector headlights.
When reached out for comment, FCA released the following statement regarding the Wrangler Unlimited’s performance during the conducted test…
“FCA has produced more than 500,000 of these vehicles. By a 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.”
You can visit the IIHS website for a more in-depth look at the 2019/2020 Jeep Wrangler crash test results.