Recently the IHS conducted a crash test on the 2019-2020 Jeep Wrangler four-door called the driver-side small overlap from crash test. In that test, the Jeep Wrangler was given a marginal rating after the vehicle flipped onto its passenger side after striking the test barrier. The redesigned Wrangler was evaluated in three separate driver-side small overlap crash tests.
One of the tests was conducted by Fiat Chrysler as part of the IIHS verification test program, and two were performed by the IIHS Vehicle Research Center. In both tests conducted by the IIHS, the Wrangler rolled onto the passenger side after striking the test barrier. The good news for Wrangler owners is that it performed well by normal metrics used to evaluate performance in the driver-side small overlap test.
The agency says that the driver’s space was well-maintained, and the dummy’s movement was well-controlled. However, the agency said that the partial rollover represented an additional risk of injury beyond what the standard criteria are intended to measure. The agency says that a vehicle tipping onto its side is not an acceptable outcome for a frontal crash. As a result, the overall rating for the vehicle was downgraded to marginal.
The finding is particularly important in the case of the Wrangler because since it has a removable roof and doors, it also lacks side curtain airbags that are designed to deploy to keep occupants inside the vehicle. Because of the removable roof, regulations don’t require it to have side curtain airbags. The previous generation Wrangler earned a good rating in the same test.
The agency notes that in the test Fiat Chrysler submitted, the Wrangler did not tip over. Interestingly, the IIHS says that it conducts audit tests of some vehicles in the verification program to ensure the integrity of the program, and the Wrangler was selected for one of those tests. Its retest resulted in a downgrading of its rating. The agency did investigate whether anything it did contribute to the accident.