Grand Cherokee Retakes the Elk Test

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Two European publications revisit the Moose Test in a Jeep Grand Cherokee with different results.

If you caught our industry news roundup from the second week in July, you may have noticed a story regarding safety concerns surrounding the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The issue stemmed from a very specific safety test administered in Sweden by local publication Teknikens Varld, which performed the Moose Test to unsatisfactory results. The Moose Test (or Elk Test) is standard practice in Scandinavia, and recreates a potential danger common in these Nordic countries.

The test involves a sudden left-right turn untaken at just under 40 mph to simulate what a driver might have to do to avoid hitting an elk that might (and often does) wander onto a country road. Teknikens Varld found that the Grand Cherokee failed the test, nearly tipping over had the skilled test driver not taken decisive action to prevent catastrophe. Jeep's parent company Chrysler contested the results, insisting that the magazine had tampered with the results by overloading the vehicle, switching the electronic stability program off. Chrysler claims to have performed the same test with satisfactory results.

The Swedes then went back and performed the test again. It claims to have loaded the vehicle and the tire pressure according to the vehicle's registration specifications and left the air suspension in Auto mode. The result: the Jeep popped the left front tire seven times in a row, and nearly toppled over in the process. Chrysler, meanwhile, points out that German magazine Auto Motor und Sport administered the same test with satisfactory results. The AMS test found that, even at relatively high speeds, the Jeep did not tip over and passed the test with flying colors.

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We'll let you, the reading public, determine which publication's test you trust. But one thing's for sure: we wouldn't want to be an elk in Sweden.


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